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Date published: 29 July 2014

AN “outstanding” childminder has hit out at Ofsted after being told she cannot continue to look after children in her home due to her 16-year-old daughter’s mental health issues.

Susan Radcliffe’s daughter Catherine, who recently turned 16, is no longer “suitable to be around children” despite her diagnosis not causing an issue in the past.

Catherine was diagnosed with anxiety and depression more than five years ago as well as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder a few years later but has been receiving support from the Royal Oldham Hospital. Susan (49), who has been a childminder for 10 years, was rated “outstanding” for the second time at her Ofsted inspection in July, last year.

She says the education watchdog has known about Catherin’es condition for years and has never received any complaints about herself or Catherine.

Susan said: “It is ridiculous what they are doing to me.

“I have been told to ask my daughter to leave the family home or resign as a childminder.

“I don’t understand the difference one day makes, they didn’t mind when she was 15 as long as they were aware of her diagnosis.

“I kept Ofsted and all the parents informed and told them about the support she was receiving at the Royal Oldham Hospital.

“But now she is 16 she is deemed to be “unsuitable to be around children” despite there being no changes to her mental health since she turned 16.

Susan, who is currently completing a foundation degree in early years education, regularly looks after up to 10 children at her home in Shaw. She is now appealing Ofsted’s decision.

An Ofsted spokesman said: “We sympathise with the difficult situation. “However, it would be inappropriate to comment further while the complaint and appeal are ongoing.”
To read the full version of this story see the Chronicle’s E-chron digital edition or buy the newspaper.


Jobsworth and do gooders again. With outstanding ratings, and the fact she hasn’t kept her daughter a secret, has been no danger, then why punish her with her lively hood, at least she is working and not scrounging a living like some people.

Not only is this grossly insulting to those who've suffered with mental health issues, it further compounds the negative perceptions that such individuals have to daily contend with.

If nothing has changed in her health or ability why is she classed as unsuitable to be around children. what difference does her age make, Its a very hard choice they are giving you either your daughter or a job you love and is great at...
Hope you fight this all the way and bloody win as this is discrimination against your daughter, who is probably a great girl with just problems...and lets face it what teenager does not have problems and they have no medical reasons why...

The Disability Discrimination Act comes to mind, but no doubt the government, so keen to bully others with its demands will have made sure that it's exempted itself.

It's still worth a try if they won't back down.

Bureaucratic madness. Good luck sue in your fight against this ridiculous rule. Common sense and decency has to prevail.


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