A HIGHLY regarded nursery is celebrating a double hat-trick – having received its sixth consecutive outstanding report from Ofsted.

Elizabeth Shears, headteacher at Turncroft Nursery School in Darwen said they were ‘overwhelmed’ to have once again been awarded the highest possible rating from inspectors.

She described the Highfield Road nursery as being like a ‘family’ with staff putting ‘their everything’ in to giving children the very best educational start in life.

Mrs Shears, who has been headteacher for 10 years, said: “I am so proud that Turncroft has once again been rated outstanding.

“To think it is now the sixth consecutive time is just incredible and it’s fantastic news for all the staff here, our governors, children and their parents – who have all been so supportive.

“Turncroft is very highly regarded within the Darwen community and that’s down to the dedication of the staff here to provide an exceptional educational experience.

“We are always smiling, always laughing and we make learning fun. Our staff truly are the very best role models for children.”

The council-run nursery, which also operates a breakfast and afterschool club for their own children as well as pupils from St Peter’s Primary, was inspected in December.

In the report, inspectors described it as a ‘super place for children to learn’ and said the children there represented ‘themselves and school wonderfully.’

Jayne Ivory, director of children’s services at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “It’s a real privilege for us to have Turncroft Nursery in our borough.

“To be rated outstanding six times in a row is a fantastic achievement and it’s testament to the headteacher there, the wonderful staff, governors, children and parents – a great partnership.”

The report goes on to praise the nursery, which feeds in to 14 local primary schools, for its work with children who have special educational needs and said that in reading, communication and mathematics, children achieve highly.

Cllr Maureen Bateson, who visited the nursery to congratulate all involved, added: “Turncroft is a shining example of the very best in early years’ education and it has been a privilege to meet all those involved.

“I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work and efforts in giving youngsters from the borough the very best start in life – their passion shines through in abundance.

“My fear, however is the threat to the future of nurseries like Turncroft with a significant reduction in funding over recent years – this is a concern that I know is shared by the headteacher and all involved in similar settings. They desperately need investment from Government to ensure that they can continue to serve their local communities so well."