Mum outraged as nursery excludes son from play because he cant speak

A nursery in Wolverhampton excluded a boy from a nativity play because he can't speak and it would "spoil it for the other children", a furious mum has claimed.

Tilly Carrie claims Ashmore Park Nursery stopped her three-year-old son Ace, who is non-verbal due to a condition that has not yet been officially diagnosed, from taking part in the Christmas event last year.

The mother-of-two from Wolverhampton said another boy who also couldn't speak was excluded from the play at the nursery too, reports Birmingham Mail.

Ms Carrie lodged a complaint with the nursery, which is rated Outstanding by Ofsted. An internal investigation took place which concluded the nursery acted in line with its protocol.

Ms Carrie has since moved her son to a new nursery where she says he is "very happy".

But the 30-year-old feels her son was discriminated against and now she is planning to appeal the decision with the school's board of governors. A new investigation by the nursery is now underway.

Ms Carrie said: "He is not diagnosed autistic but he is on the pathway, he is in the middle of the diagnosis.

"He is non-verbal at the moment, he can't speak and uses sign language. They excluded him and another non-verbal boy from the play because they said he couldn't talk and would spoil it for the 'normal kids'."

Ms Carrie said she only found out about the decision two days before the event was due to take place, on December 18, when she was called to the nursery's office. "I had no idea they were going to exclude him," she said.

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"They said 'Ace won't stick to the play, he will spoil it for the other children'. I was shocked as it was so unexpected – I went to the nursery the next day and said 'you can't discriminate him against like that'.

"It says on their website that they are able to include all children, whether they have got special education needs (or not)."

Ms Carrie claims the nursery offered to hold a separate nativity play just for Ace and the other child but she refused.

"I said if they are not good enough for the main play, I don't want them to have their own play, that is discrimination," she said.

The nursery has a policy on its website stating it "strives to be fully inclusive for all its children and actively seeks to remove barriers to learning and participation, which could hinder or exclude individual children or groups of children."

Although the incident took place in December, Ms Carrie received a letter from the nursery on Thursday, March 31, stating that an internal investigation had been carried out.

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The letter was signed by the chair of the school's board of governors, Cllr Phil Bateman. The nursery is governed by the Ashmore Park and Phoenix Nursery Schools Federation.

Cllr Bateman said he was satisfied that the senior leadership team "who were involved in your formal complaint, tried to mitigate and ameliorate the situation".

He said he was also satisfied that the nursery had "complied with processes and policies" adopted by the board, concluding: "I'm sorry that this matter has come to this situation and that you and Ace have been upset by the issue."

The nursery is run by Wolverhampton Council. In response to BirminghamLive's report, a spokesperson for the council said: "The youngster was able to take part in a wide range of special activities which were held at Ashmore Park Nursery over the festive period, including a Christmas party, festive crafts and a puppet show.

"The school maintains that every effort was made to enable him to participate in the Christmas stories and songs session in a way that would not be detrimental to his health and wellbeing, but that the adjustments suggested were declined by the parent. The school regrets any upset caused for all parties involved.

"Given that there is an ongoing investigation into the matter, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

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