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Thornton Heath nursery manager says she will sue over negative Ofsted report


THE manager of a nursery judged to be failing following an inspection said she plans to take legal action against Ofsted.

Little Treasures Nursery School, in Thornton Heath, was graded "inadequate" - the worst possible score - after an inspection in November.

The judgement, published this week, levelled a number of criticisms at the nursery but, speaking to the Advertiser this week, furious manager Ruby Nelson said she planned to sue the inspectors for defamation.

Ofsted claimed children at Little Treasures, in Livingstone Road, were not given daily access to the outdoors, but Ms Nelson said it was raining on the day of the inspection.

Ms Nelson also rejected claims the nursery, which was previously rated "good" in 2010, failed to meet children-to-staff ratios, that "unclean" blankets were handed out and that parents did not know who their child's key worker was.

"The report is so bad we're going to be taking legal action," she said. "Ofsted has fabricated the information they have published.

"If they had come and had given a true report of what they had seen then I would put my hands up and say 'that's fine'. But it's all lies.

"Everyone will look at the report and they'll believe it. Our reputation is on the line."

Ofsted's report, which followed an inspection on November 25, said the nursery does not "consistently" meet staff ratios, "particularly for the youngest children".

"As a result," the lead inspector added, "staff do not provide children with a wide range of challenging activities that reflect their interests and needs."

Ms Nelson said she keeps a staff register which shows the ratio of children to staff on the day was 2:1, within the guidelines.

Ofsted described the key person system as "ineffective" because parents did not know who they are, but Ms Nelson said only two parents were interviewed and one knew the answer.

The report added that the nursery was breaching a number of safeguarding and welfare requirements which had a "significant impact on children's wellbeing".

They included older children had only been allowed outside for a "very short period of time" and the younger group and babies were kept inside entirely.

Ms Nelson said: "It was a rainy day. You can't put the kids out in the rain.

"When it stopped raining we put the older ones out. They [the inspectors] went to their lunch break and in that time the little ones came out. When they came back they said they didn't see the kids go out but, by that time - it was raining again."

Little Treasures was also accused of failing to give some children blankets during nap time and, where they did so, "unclean" bedding was used which "compromised children's health".

Ms Nelson said the nursery asked parents to clean the blankets themselves.

"If the child has soiled the blanket then we send it home," she explained.

Ms Nelson has appealed Ofsted's findings and is taking legal advice about what further action she could take.

"I feel so strongly about this because Ofsted has come to do a report and told lies," she said.

"If you are going to do an inspection, tell the truth."

Ofsted has yet to comment. 

Thornton Heath nursery manager says she will sue over negative Ofsted report

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