Out of school club graded below adequate

The Newtonhill Out of School club meet at the Bettridge Centre
The Newtonhill Out of School club meet at the Bettridge Centre

An inspection carried out by the Care Inspectorate on a Newtonhill after-school club in September has graded it as being less than adequate.

During the low-intensity inspection, Newtonhill Out of School Club was graded as being ‘weak’ in the areas of quality of environment, quality of staffing, and quality of management and leadership, but was graded ‘adequate’ for its quality of care and support.

The report’s conclusion read: “Through comments received from parents/ carers we concluded that Newtonhill Out of School Club meets the standards of parents and families. The provider/ manager must support staff to provide a service which continues to meet these needs but improves the quality of the service overall.”

The most serious issue the inspection found was staff’s readiness to deal with children requiring immediate medical assistance.

The report reads: “Although some staff had received first-aid training and had been trained on how to administer an epipen, some where not sure what signs or symptoms would be present if a child took an allergic reaction.

“They were also not sure of all the steps to follow in an emergency situation, for example, a child not responding to their medication.”

It was concluded that individual children did not have a personal plan, despite staff knowing them well.

There were also concerns raised regarding the general safety of children, and the security of the building.

On the day of the inspection is was noted that the entrance door was not secured with a door entry system and that people could gain access unannounced.

Children were also spotted going up and down stairs where other members of the public roaming freely.

One parent was quoted in the report, saying: “The main part upstairs is for the OSC but the children are allowed to go downstairs to a large hall.

“There is supervision in the hall and only certain numbers at a time but the building can be accessed by anyone, even the public, so there is no-one to witness if the children meet strangers on the stairway or public toilet area.”

A number of recommendations have now been made by the inspectorate, and numerous areas of improvement identified.

The full report, which was published on September 14, can be viewed by anyone, by visiting the Care Inspectorate’s website.