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Aberdeen nursery worker who ‘roughly’ handled children given warning

Aberdeen Nursery worker
Great Western Pre-school in Aberdeen.

An Aberdeen nursery worker has been issued with a warning amid concerns about her rough behaviour towards children in her care.

Melody Copland was working at Great Western Pre-School in Aberdeen when the complaints were made.

The 23-year-old was suspended and reported to the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) when the allegations were raised, and she has had no involvement with the nursery since.

She has now gone before the SSSC, who have ruled her fitness to practise has been impaired.

The watchdog heard about several incidents involving the assistant classroom, including one when she “roughly” picked up a child and sat them in a chair “forcefully”.

She was also found to have roughly pulled a child’s leg while putting him to bed and yanked another’s ear when taking their temperature in February 2021.

Disparaging comments were also made about the children while in their presence, including: “I can’t cope with him today; I don’t want anything to do with him today”.

‘Disregard for safety and wellbeing of the children’

While speaking to the same staff member in the presence of the children, she reportedly said “oh she is crying again; I am fed up of this child, she is always crying”.

She also referred to one of the children in her care as “a pain in the butt”.

Ms Copland was found to have failed in seven key areas of the Code of Practice for Social Service Workers, in force since November 2016.

The SSSC noted her behaviour demonstrated “a disregard for the safety and wellbeing of the children”.

When asked about the incidents, Ms Copland admitted pushing a chair forcefully, which caused a child to hit their chest off a table, but it was an accident.

While the SSSC report stated that her conduct was “unacceptable” and “serious” she did not mean to harm the children in her care.

Ms Copland has been given a warning on her registration and is to remain under supervision by her current employer for nine months while also completing additional training.

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