A NURSERY has been rated ‘inadequate’ after children were left outside unsupervised.

Ofsted Inspectors gave Fernbank Nursery, attached to Lammack County Primary School, in Lammack Road, Blackburn, the lowest possible rating.

Inspectors also slammed the nursery’s manager for not reporting the ‘serious incident’ as required by Ofsted rules.

Lead inspector Linda Shore also said the nursery’s whistleblowing policy was out of date leading staff to be unsure of how to report concerns.

However they did praise the early years education of the children.

The inspection had been prompted by concerns after the incident where children were left alone outside.

She said: “The manager has not reported a serious incident regarding children's safety to Ofsted as required.”

She added: “A recent incident saw three children left outside alone in the playground unsupervised. This places children at serious risk.

“The inspection was brought forward after concerns were raised with Ofsted about children left alone in the playground and the effectiveness of the management of the setting.”

She added: “Staff who have concerns about the conduct of colleagues are not given appropriate messages about the options available to them. The whistleblower policy is out of date and does not provide accurate information for staff to follow to safeguard children.”

The nursery, which is run by a management committee, currently has 77 children attending aged two, three and four-year-old. Inspectors did say there was some good aspects to teh education provided.

Ms Shore said: “Staff, and particularly key persons, develop suitable relationships with children as they understand the importance of supporting children's emotional well-being.

“Staff work with parents when settling new children into the nursery, therefore, they are suitably informed about the child's care, likes and dislikes. This generally helps staff in planning some activities for new children, based on their interests.”

One parent who spoke to the Lancashire Telegraph said: “I am really shocked to hear about this through Ofsted. The nursery should have told us this had happened.”

The nursery will be monitored and inspected again within six months by Ofsted. The nursery declined to comment.