Ofsted step in over pre-school fire safety fears

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Shortfallings with fire safety equipment at a pre-school could have had “serious consequences”, a report has revealed.

Butely Road Pre-School was visited by Ofsted inspectors after a tip off that fire equipment was not up to an acceptable standard- meaning that children were not evacuated when the fire alarm for adjoining Pirton Hill Infant School sounded.

The fault has since been fixed by the manager of the pre-school but inspectors have issued a grave warning over the incident, which “put children and staff at immediate risk and could have had serious consequences in different circumstances.”

An Ofsted report raised fears that this situation had presented itself previously.

It read: “The provider failed to check that sufficient action was taken following previous examples when the fire alarm bell was difficult to hear.

“The pre-school has not fully developed a shared understanding and responsibility of how to protect children with the host school.”

Inspectors added that this was in breach of legal requirements set by the Childcare Register, urging the pre-school to “ensure premises and equipment used for the purposes of the childcare are safe and suitable for that childcare”.

A Luton Borough Council spokesperson said: “During a recent activation of the fire alarm at 4.30pm, one of the alarm sounders in one room of the Pre School stopped working - although the visual alarm in the room was flashing, and bells were sounding in all the other areas of the building and could be heard in the Pre School.

“The bell was fixed within two hours and the issue was self-referred to Ofsted by the Pre School.”