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University's Early Years Provision Praised in Two Independent Inspections

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Unitots nursery at the University of Worcester has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in its second consecutive inspection.

The nursery, which has 47 children on its register, was described as being “excellently” managed and as providing “high quality” teaching and care.

It comes as the University’s Early Years training programme has also received a glowing report from an independent watchdog. The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education, the independent body charged with safeguarding quality and standards in UK universities and colleges, concluded in its audit that the University is ‘commendable’ – the highest possible standard.

Professor David Green, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor, said: “These outstanding reports from Ofsted and from the QAA are examples of the University’s deep-seated commitment to providing outstanding opportunities for children and young people.

“We want to ensure children get the best possible start in life, whether that is through the teachers and Early Years professionals we train, or by putting professional skills in to direct practice in the University’s nursery.

“Across the world it is recognised that high quality education and care for young children is the essential foundation for successful future human development. This means working with, and supporting, mothers, fathers and their young children. Congratulations to all in our nursery and Early Years teams for achieving such outstanding results.”

The Ofsted report rates Unitots as Grade 1 Outstanding in every aspect of the inspection, noting: “Throughout the nursery children are animated and eagerly engage in all activities supported by enthusiastic and vibrant staff.”

The Inspector also commented that: “Children's personal, social and emotional development is carefully and very skilfully promoted,” and that “Children benefit from sensitive and nurturing relationships with staff that significantly support them to build considerable levels of confidence and self-esteem.”

Of the management, the Inspector noted: “The manager's practice is exemplary and clearly inspires the staff team to consistently ensure the best outcomes for all children,” adding: “The manager and whole staff team are exceptionally well motivated and demonstrate high levels of commitment.”

Unitots Manager, Hazel Rutherford, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a second consecutive ‘Grade 1 Outstanding’ from Ofsted, which recognises the high quality and standards of our practice and provision. We are particularly pleased as changes to standards and the inspection framework has led to a reported down turn in outcomes for settings.”

Ann Jordan, Head of the University’s Institute of Education, added: “I am delighted that the high quality provision of our early years training programme has been recognised for the second time running by the QAA and that a number of exceptional features were identified in the report.”