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Facing a dilemma - can I refuse a place?

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Last year we had a complaint made to Ofsted by a disgruntled family. Ofsted inspected and although they obviously did not tell us who had made the complaint they did tell us the contents of the complaint so it was obvious who had made it. The inspection confirmed the complaint was unsubstantiated and obviously malicious but it was still an unpleasant experience.

Today I have received a call from another member of the family who lives at the same address, asking for a place for her child - although I don't like to turn business away I really can't face going through that again - can I say no?

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We had the same problem although the person that was asking for the place was the exact same one that made the complaint. We were also told that we couldn't refuse a placement, however you can make sure of several things.


Get them to sign a parental agreement with an agreed code of behaviour for both parties.

You could talk to your LEA and see if there is anyone available to have a meeting with the family so you can talk about how you are going to move forward with all the water under the bridge. If you use LEA they can mediate and then there is official record (although how you would stand with this seen as they were not 'named' in the complaint and it is an alternative member of the family this might not be appropriate)

I would record EVERYTHING so that there is always a record of what is said and done at all times.


I can honestly say we had involvement with our family for almost a year and it was stressful and I was relieved when they pulled their child out early, however in some ways it wasn't as bad as we had feared.


good luck

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Maybe taking it a positive thing.The disgruntled family may know realise that they were wrong and that your setting is the best. People in the same family are not all the same. I have had parents who are sisters and they have opposite ways of thinking. I think you can refuse a placement. I have done it myself when parent owed me money and then had the cheek to want a place. They forget that I remember everything.

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Who can tell you you can't Regus a place? It is the job of the LA to make sure all eligible 3 & 4 yr olds have a setting, it is not the job of LA to say which setting the child goes to.

We have never refused a place but there are 4 names I would take a second look at should they approach us in the future and i'm quite prepared to say no to them.

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