Little Scholars nursery in Dundee has attacked the Care Inspectorate over a statement issued following a probe into a complaint by health secretary Humza Yousaf.
Accusing the regulator of “partisan spin”, a spokesperson for the nursery said its statement had been issued to the media with no notice.
A spokesperson for the regulator confirmed earlier an investigation following a complaint by Humza Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla had found the nursery did not promote “fairness, equality and respect when offering placements”.
It followed complaints by the government minister that his child had been rejected from the service despite other children with “white Scottish-sounding names” being offered a place.
A spokesperson for Little Scholars Day Nursery in Broughty Ferry said: “This is an extremely suspicious and highly misleading statement, issued to the media without any notice being given to us and with a particularly inaccurate and partisan spin.
“Contrary to the media statement issued by the Care Inspectorate, there were no findings of discrimination or any issues with a lack of equality upheld by the investigation or contained within its official report.”
The spokesperson said the nursery had instructed its legal team, Levy and McRae, to “demand answers” from the regulator about the statement.
Responding to the report, the nursery said it was “always looking at ways we can improve things”.
Contrary to the media statement issued by the Care Inspectorate, there were no findings of discrimination or any issues with a lack of equality upheld by the investigation
Little Scholars Nursery
“Whilst the Care Inspectorate found our admission procedure could be improved, this had nothing to do with discrimination or equality and within a few days of becoming aware of Mr Yousaf and Ms El-Nakla’s complaint, we reviewed and updated our system for dealing with admissions.”
The nursery also defended the manager of the service, saying: “We never had the slightest doubt that the complaint against our manager’s character and integrity would be rejected.
“She is a long-standing and highly valued member of our team, and it has been hugely upsetting to see her face such unfair and untrue allegations.
“I’m sure we could have quickly resolved this issue if we had been approached directly rather than using the national media, which has caused enormous and unnecessary stress to our team and our families.”
“We are grateful for the overwhelming support of our parents and the local community,” the nursery statement added.
“Although not mentioned in the final report, over 40 letters of support were sent to the Care Inspectorate by parents and families who know and value how we care for their children, as well as countless emails and phone calls.
“It has been very humbling to see how much they wanted to show their support and we simply can’t thank them enough.
“We had hoped to draw a line under this whole episode and get back to doing what we love – looking after children.”
‘Did not promote fairness, equality and respect’
Aamer Anwar, solicitor for Mr Yousaf and Ms El-Nakla, said the nursery’s response was “disappointing”.
The Care Inspectorate said it had no comment to add in relation to the criticisms.
A statement said: “We have upheld a complaint in relation to this matter.
“We found that the service did not promote fairness, equality and respect when offering placements.
“Every child in Scotland has the right to good quality care that meets their needs and respects their rights.
“We have identified areas for improvement and we will follow up on these to check on progress.
“We continue to monitor this service. If we are not satisfied that the improvements required have been met, we will not hesitate to take further action.”