‘Bullying’ nursery worker struck off

Little Reivers Nursery, Duns.
Little Reivers Nursery, Duns.

A former member of staff at Little Reivers Nursery, Duns, has been removed from the register of practitioners in a day care of children service.

Terese Renton’s name was removed from the register on Thursday, February 15, following a Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) investigation.

Ms Renton was suspended by Berwickshire Housing Association, which runs Little Reivers Nursery, in July 2016, immediately after it was made aware of allegations about her behaviour towards children and other staff members.

It informed both the SSSC and the Care Inspectorate, and the SSSC started an investigation into Ms Renton’s alleged behaviour between September 2015 and June 2016. In August 2016 Ms Renton resigned from Little Reivers.

The accusations against Ms Renton, who worked with children under the age of two years, included lifting a child up by the wrist as they were crawling, making derogatory comments to and about children including calling one ‘ugly’, bullying behaviour to children and threatening to put a two year-old child in a cupboard.

In deciding to remove Ms Renton from its children’s services register the SSSC officer who investigated the case told her: “You have shown limited insight.

“There is a pattern of misconduct over a significant period of time. Harm was caused to young children and there was serious risk of harm to your colleagues and children. Your actions were an abuse of the trust placed in you to care safely for children.”

Helen Forsyth, chief executive of Berwickshire Housing Association, said: “This behaviour is absolutely unacceptable and we are truly sorry this happened.

“This is not typical of our usual high standards of care that we have been delivering since June 2008. Indeed, in January 2018, the Care Inspectorate gave us a ‘good’ rating.

“In this particular instance, we immediately suspended the staff involved and launched a full investigation, interviewed all staff, and began disciplinary action.

“We also immediately informed the Care Inspectorate and Scottish Social Services Council. SSSC then undertook its own investigation – which uncovered additional issues relating to cruel language, rough handling and isolation of children.

“Since the matter first came to our attention, we have reviewed our procedures and practices and put in place measures to help prevent any similar issues occurring in future.

“We have pro-actively contacted parents and guardians to offer individual meetings and to talk through the changes we have made to ensure that Little Reivers is a happy and safe place for their children.

“We have every confidence in the current nursery team who demonstrate their commitment and dedication to the children in their care every single day.”