Angry parents have blasted Ofsted after it downgraded a top rural nursery for failing to teach three-year-olds – about ETHNIC DIVERSITY.
The education watchdog even penalised Town and Country Kiddies Nursery in Lincolnshire for not having enough pictures of black and Asian people on the walls.
In a report, inspectors criticised the nursery, which caters for children aged from eight-weeks to 11 years, for failing to teach youngsters about other cultures.
It 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.”
As a result, the nursery in Market Rasen was stripped of its ‘outstanding’ status it was given in 2012 and is now rated ‘good’.
Parents today (Wed) blasted Ofsted, branding the decision to mark the nursery down as “political correct nonsense”.
A mum, who did not want to be named, stormed: “Just because the majority of the kids are white shouldn’t be used as a stick to beat the nursery with.
“The nursery does an excellent job, the atmosphere is inclusive and the staff break their backs to help every kid.
“This Ofsted report is a kick in the face for them and is yet another example of political correct nonsense.”
Another dad added: “One word can be used to describe that report – wrong.
“What planet do these Ofsted inspectors live on? How can you teach two or three year olds about racism?
“Kids that young treat each other the same whatever their skin colour. They just see kids as kids and that’s as it should be.”
Louise Davies, who owns the nursery, yesterday expressed her concerns over the Ofsted rating system.
She 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.
“One of the things the inspectors said was that we needed to put more pictures of people from ethnic cultures on the walls of the nursery.”
Ofsted changed the rules on grading schools and nurseries last September meaning they have to meet additional criteria to get an ‘outstanding’ rating.
Ms Davies added: “There’s a real strong focus in the new criteria that the whole workforce needs to be delivering exceptional practice. It’s unrealistic.
“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).”
Ofsted initially published their report from the inspection this week – but have temporarily withdrawn it following a backlash from furious parents.
An Ofsted spokesperson said: “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.”
The row comes 18 months after Middle Rasen Primary School, which is a mile away from the nursery, was penalised by Ofsted for effectively being too English.
Inspectors said the school was “not yet outstanding” because pupils’ cultural development was limited by a “lack of first-hand experience of the diverse make up of modern British society”.