Archway nursery head refuses to take down ‘outstanding’ logo after ‘mean’ Ofsted downgrade

A file image of Hargrave Hall, home of Monty's Montessori Nursery. Picture: Google StreetView

A file image of Hargrave Hall, home of Monty's Montessori Nursery. Picture: Google StreetView - Credit: Archant

The head of an Archway nursery is bitter after its Ofsted rating plummeted.

Carole Montana, of Monty’s Montessori, said she will appeal the watchdog’s downgrade from the highest possible “outstanding” score to “requires improvement”, which is third on a scale of four.

The report, published on Wednesday last week, is yet another setback for Monty’s. In September, its lease is set to expire at Hargrave Hall, in Hargrave Road, and it is still looking for a new home.

Though the nursery was rated “good” for teaching, personal development and children’s outcomes in the latest report, the overall score was dragged down because inspector Jennifer Liverpool criticised the nursery’s leadership team.

It centred on accident records not being readily available for inspection. This is a breach of Ofsted requirements, even though Ms Liverpool admitted: “It does not have a significant impact on the safety or well-being of children.”

The management team was also criticised by Ms Liverpool for being too insular: “Children are not helped enough to develop their knowledge of the environment beyond the nursery or to gain a deeper understanding of the wider community.”

Monty’s, which has 28 pupils on its books, was previously rated “outstanding” in November 2015. And Ms Montana, who founded the nursery 10 years ago, said she will refuse to take down the “outstanding” banner outside Hargrave Hall while she takes the report to Ofsted’s appeal panel.

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She said: “The inspector was really mean, marking us down like that. This woman had it in for us.

“Everything is documented. She asked us for the records from two specific days but we couldn’t find them because we were in the middle of a move [which has since been called off]. There’s no way Ofsted can justify us being marked down like that.”

Ms Montana vowed: “I am going to fight this. We are still ‘outstanding’. They should not be so harsh.”