Ofsted withdraws report which downgraded nursery for not being culturally diverse enough

Town and Country EMN-160425-150225001
Town and Country EMN-160425-150225001

Ofsted has withdrawn a report which had criticised a Market Rasen nursery for not being culturally diverse enough.

The owner of the Town and Country Kiddies Nursery Louise Davies stressed she was happy with the vast majority of the report and had not complained to Ofsted.

Owner of the Town and Country Kiddies Nursery Louise Davies

“It comes with living in the community where there isn’t a great deal of cultural and ethnic diversity.”

However, she said Ofsted had ‘unrealistic expectations ‘ after being told its three year olds do not know enough about other cultures.

As a result of the report, the school was downgraded from ‘outstanding’ to ‘good’ - but owner Louise Davies says, if anything, the nursery has improved.

After speaking to Ms Davies , the Rasen Mail contacted Ofsted for a comment.

Just minutes before going to press yesterday (Tuesday) lunchtime, Ofsted released the following statement: “The regional director is seeking to speak to the owner about her concerns, and we have withdrawn the report while we review the case.

“Following this a decision will be taken about next steps.”

Earlier, Ms Davies had said: “There are things they’d like us to do over and above - children having understanding of other people and different cultures.

“It comes with living in the community where there isn’t a great deal of cultural and ethnic diversity.

“They’re not seeing that on a day to day basis, unlike nurseries in London where they do have it on a day to day basis.”

Ofsted changed its boundaries in September 2015 - and now schools and nurseries have to meet additional criteria to get an ‘outstanding’ rating.

Ms Davies said the nursery would now make sure children were exposed to different cultures but described the criteria as ‘unrealistic’.

She said: “There’s a real strong focus in the new criteria that the whole workforce needs to be delivering exceptional practice. It’s unrealistic.”

Ms Davies said the nursery was passionate about its apprentice programme - and could not solely employ fully-qualified staff.

She said: “It’s an ideological view, not commercially viable. We can’t operate a team that’s without exception.

“For us to continually strive towards the ‘outstanding’ it would become more and more commercially unviable.

“At the end of the day it’s all very well chasing something but it’s an unrealistic criteria.

“We need to provide childcare for people to go to work and not worry about an ideology that Ofsted have.

“If anything, we’re in a stronger position now (than last inspection in 2012).”

The Ofsted report praised the nursery on several aspects but stated: “Staff do not provide enough opportunities for children to develop a strong sense of belonging at the nursery and to learn about people who are different to themselves.”

The report praised the nursery for its excellent relationship with parents, phonics teaching and highly motivated children - and it said many elements of care were ‘outstanding’.