Nursery Faces Closure Over Photos Sent To Parents

8 February 2016
Nursery Faces Closure Over Photos

A nursery in Kent has had it's Ofsted rating downgraded from Outstanding to Inadequate over photos of children sent to parents via a mobile phone.

Cherubs nursery in Linton was sending photos of children to their parents to show that they are happy after they leave, in an effort to reassure those whose children are unhappy or distressed when left.

The Ofted report stated that "Children are not safeguarded effectively" due to the use of "personal mobile phones" to record observations and send messages to parents. It stated that "the provider/manager lacks understanding of the risks this presents to children and does not monitor the use of mobile phones effectively to ensure children's safety".

The nursery's owner, Cindy Fox, maintains that this was a mobile for nursery use only and that personal mobiles were locked away, and that parents consent to and welcome the photos.

A parent whose child attends the nursery has started an online petition to change the Ofsted rating, and as Cherubs can take on no new children whilst they are rated inadequate the nursery may be forced to close in September as pupils leave to go to Primary school.

What do you think of this issue? Although sending photos to parents was done with the best intentions, was this also a failure to ensure their safety? Or is this an over-reaction to a well-meaning policy, and just a way to reassure families that their children are happy? Let us know what you think in the comments or over on our Facebook page.

Image: Steve Burton.

TOPICS:   News and Recalls


  • Loops82

    Ridiculous! Many schools use this now to show progress during the day of children's development to send to the parents! I'd be grateful of any photos or comments from my child's nursery as I miss out on so much being at work!!

    • Lisa Hayes EDITOR

      The issue isn't with taking photos, it's the method used to take the photos and send them that was identified as the problem as proper safeguards were not in place. Let's hope the nursery use a different method to update parents (there are many available) and then they may be able to regain their grading.

  • Jane

    If ofsted new how guilty parents can feel leaving a child in  nursery , they would be delighted with the idea  to send parents the photos of their happy child. Absolutely absurd to down grade the Nursery. Red tape again.

  • karenrog5

    Ofsted are never happy, if the parents have agreed and the phone is only for nursery use what is the problem? Where do nurseries and schools stand on getting photo's printed?

  • Hwhit

    if their policy doesn't reflect they send pictures to private mobiles regardless of reason, it's not safeguarding the children! 

  • Steph

    I agree with Jane. I welcome and ask for pictures of my son when he is with thr childminder. I leave him and he is crying do I like to know he is ok after I leave and is having a nice day when I am at work. It's ridiculous to downgrade them.

  • admin EDITOR

    Thanks for all the feedback guys, we love hearing your opinions! 

  • Nicky44

    I personally don't think it is necessary, a simply friendly phone call is all that is needed really. I think we need to take care that we are not taking parent partnership a step too far.

    • Lisa Hayes EDITOR

      I agree with you, I think a phone call should be sufficient.

  • Jojo

    It's about time Ofsted stopped sticking their oar in and respected the views of parents. They are OUR children and it is up the parents how information is shared. If parents give permission for images to be sent via this way of communication then Ofsted should keep their opinions out of it. 

    • Terry

      This is definitely a case of Ofsted taking the red tape too far. No, personal mobile phones shouldn't be allowed. Had the nursery used a normal camera, uploaded the images to a computer and then emailed them to the parents I assume there wouldn't be a problem as photos are used through nurseries everywhere! 

      The phone was for nursery use as a method of shortcutting the procedure! 

  • Shazzle

    Ofsted suck! Bunch of do-gooders who sit and bark orders but have probably never worked with young children in any setting! 

  • TiccoTorres

    Sorry. I actually agree with OfSted. 

    This is a basic breach of safeguarding and since OfSted themselves have been under the spotlight with inspections missing abusive adults, this is spot on. You start making exceptions, then people start making excuses. I am a teacher by the way.
    There is no way to monitor what the parents themselves are doing with these photographs and a simple "we will ring you if there is a problem" (which as all EYFS staff know rarely happens) would clearly suffice. They dug their own hole in this one - I only hope it's not too late to rectify their own mistake since outstanding prior to this error of judgement means they must have been an effective setting. 

    Stick to your photographs for learning journeys and appreciate that OfSted, certainly in this respect, are considering the safeguarding of our children. Lesson to all. Toe the line with safeguarding  - there are no exceptions or compromises and rightly so, in my opinion.

    • Lisa Hayes EDITOR

      Although I tried to keep the article neutral I actually agree with you TiccoTorres. I think the guidelines are there for a very good reason and there are many schemes in place where parents can log onto secure apps/sites with a password to view photos of their children. 

      Sending a picture via a mobile phone is not secure and cannot be monitored effectively. Let's hope the nursery can change their procedures and regain it's grading.

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