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by Andrew Learmonth
12 November 2021
Humza Yousaf and wife sue discrimination row Broughty Ferry nursery for £30,000

Humza Yousaf and wife sue discrimination row Broughty Ferry nursery for £30,000

Humza Yousaf and his wife, Nadia El-Nakla, are seeking £30,000 in damages from the Broughty Ferry nursery they allege discriminated against their daughter.  

Details of the legal action were revealed by the firm who own Little Scholars in a press release on Friday. 

They said they would be “robustly defending our staff and our business” and accused the Health Secretary and family of a “vendetta”. 

Yousaf and El-Nakla said the nursery repeatedly failed to give their daughter a place despite offering places to applications from people with “white-sounding names”.

Last week, following an investigation, the Care Inspectorate said Little Scholars had failed to “promote fairness, equality and respect”.

In a statement, they said: “We have upheld a complaint in relation to this matter. We found that the service did not promote fairness, equality and respect when offering placements. Every child in Scotland has the right to good quality care that meets their needs and respects their rights.

“We have identified areas for improvement and we will follow up on these to check on progress. We continue to monitor this service. If we are not satisfied that the improvements required have been met, we will not hesitate to take further action.”

The inspectorate has given the nursery until 12 December to show it is well managed and has “consistent and robust” systems for admissions requests which show “these are processed in a transparent and equitable manner”.

The owners of Little Scholars nursery, who are of Asian heritage, have rejected that statement and claimed it doesn’t reflect the findings of the report. They’ve promised to fight any legal action. 

A spokesperson said: “We were always confident that last week’s Care Inspectorate report would find no evidence of discrimination and that proved to be the case when it dismissed the complaint that our nursery manager failed to display good character and integrity.

“Given that fact, we are saddened, but not wholly surprised, to learn legal proceedings have now been raised by Nadia El-Nakla with an astonishing claim for £30,000 in damages in a continuation of this campaign against us. 

“They have previously demanded an apology but we cannot apologise for something we haven’t done - no matter the pressure applied to us - simply to halt what we feel has become a vendetta against a small nursery. We will therefore be robustly defending our staff and our business in any legal case which may arise.

“We remain sharply focused on the care of the children we look after and would like to extend our thanks to the families we work with and those within the local community who continue to support us through this difficult time.”

El-Nakla, who works for an SNP MSP, said she had two applications for her daughter, Amal, refused.

However, a white friend who applied was offered a place.

El-Nakla then put in a fictitious application from a relative with a Muslim-sounding name and another made-up one with a white-sounding name. The nursery only offered a place to the “white” applicant.

Yousaf then contacted the Daily Record who did exactly the same, and received the same response.  The application for Aqsa Akhtar was rejected while Susan Blake was offered a choice of 4 afternoons.

Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - SNP minister's 'disappointment and loss' over Derek Mackay texting scandal

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