THE GOVERNING body of a Blackburn nursery school which has been told it requires improvement says its children are being short-changed by the council.

Longshaw Nursery School, in Crosby Road, was visited by independent Ofsted inspectors who flagged up a number of issues.

The centre’s governors, which house the nursery school, childcare and children’s centre, said Blackburn with Darwen Council is largely to blame for the poor rating due to the ‘dire financial situation’ the nursery has been left in.

Sean Rogers, chairman of governors, said there had been a number of changes in the senior leadership team around the time of the inspection but believes the report reflected the underfunding.

“The inspector rightly praised the very tight budgetary arrangements put in place by governors.

“The nursery school budget is massively having to subsidise the children’s centre element of Longshaw because Blackburn with Darwen Early Years have consistently refused to adequately do so. In effect the children are being short-changed because of this. As a centre we are literally now running on empty, resources are inadequate, staffing is very stretched and our centre is threadbare.

“The truth is that it is not so much Longshaw Nursery School that requires improvement, but the way in which we have been treated and funded by Blackburn with Darwen Early Years. Things plainly cannot go on like this.”

In the report, Ofsted inspectors said: “It is not good because there is not enough good or better teaching to enable all children to achieve well. Staff do not ensure that all activities and learning opportunities are mean- ingful and interesting for children. Some weaknesses in teaching have not been tackled quickly enough by leaders. As a result, not all children make good progress.”

Mr Rogers is meeting with senior council members to discuss the Ofsted report next week.

Lisa Bibby, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s director for schools and education said: “The council is committed to ensuring all children in the borough access the very best education.

“We look forward to working with the school to address any issues identified during its recent school inspection.”

The childcare and children’s centre elements at Longshaw will be inspected separately.