Pre-school closes after slapping of toddler

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Merryfield pre-school in station road, Chingford, has closed after police investigated an incident which involved a 16 month old girl.

Taking place on the 17th March it is said that a member of staff slapped the young girl on the hand after she was caught pulling another toddler’s hair.

Alerted by the girl’s mother, Nuraya Asiroglu, police looked into the incident but decided it was not serious enough to warrant a criminal investigation, despite a statement saying the slap was  heard throughout the room and the girl was left in tears.

A police spokeswoman said: “Detectives can confirm the incident was dealt with internally by the school and did not require any further police involvement.”

Gary Wilson, head teacher at the pre-school, has reported the incident to Ofsted and released the following statement saying the member of staff “overreacted” to the child in response to her pulling another child’s hair.

“On seeing this, the staff member slapped the child on her hand,” he added.

“This was witnessed by one of our practitioners who immediately informed one of her colleagues and the school’s manager.”

It was after this incident that Ofsted launched an investigation into the standards of the pre-school, which had previously been rated as good. In the latest inspection, they found the pre-school to be inadequate at which point the headteacher decided to close.

A letter was sent out to parents explaining the situation

“We have recently been subjected to an Ofsted inspection.

“We are not permitted to tell you the outcome of that inspection although we do not expect our hard work to be reflected in the outcome.

“Regardless of that outcome I find myself unable to work under the guidance of our regulatory body any longer.”

A statement from the mother of the child stated that she was unhappy about how the situation had been handled, and that her and her daughter had been made to feel like they had done something wrong. She went on to say:

“Emotionally, I felt very distraught and had lost all my trust and faith in the nursery,”  She removed her child from the nursery in the weeks following the incident.

Do you think the closure of the nursery was necessary? Should the reasoning behind the Ofsted result be made public? 

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7 thoughts on “Pre-school closes after slapping of toddler

  • June 20, 2014 at 6:52 am
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    I live almost next door. It needed to close. Believe me. With respect, you don’t know the other implications of the OfSTED report. The little ones’ toys weren’t even put away at night, the plants in the ‘green house’ had been dead for some time …. I could go on. It’s not somewhere I could like my baby/child to go considering the inflated price menu. The parents were played for fools.

    Reply
  • June 16, 2014 at 11:50 am
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    I DONT KNOW THIS NUSERY BUT I FEEL FOR THE MANAGER AT THIS STAGE, AND WHAT THEY MUST BE GOING THROUGH BUT TO BE HONEST OFSTED SHOULD TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE STAFF IN CONCERN ONLY , I DONT SEE AS TO WHY THE HEAD CLOSED THE NURSERY ” IT TAKES A LIFE TIME TO BUILD A GOOD REPUTATION, AND A SECOND TO TRANISH IT”…

    MY RECOMMENDATION TO THE HEAD IS TO HAVE A CONSULTATION WITH ALL THE PARENTS ARE RESTART THE NURSERY, WITH LOTS OF ASSURANCE AND CAMERAS IN THE ROOM NOT SURE IF THEY HAVE INSTALLED IT.

    GOOD LUCK

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    • June 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm
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      I totally agree with this statement…. I am amazed that there was a need to smack a 16 month old child (girl or boy)! and I too feel so much endeavour goes into building a rapport with parents and children and ONE incident blackens the whole group. I wish you the best of luck and a re-instatement of the Manager should be considered, where was she at the time? We have complained many times over the Lack of Qualified Inspectors, was this the last straw for the Manager?

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    • June 20, 2014 at 6:51 am
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      I live almost next door. It needed to close. Believe me. With respect, there are other implications of the OfSTED report. Trivial perhaps, but the little ones’ toys weren’t even put away at night, the plants in the ‘green house’ had been dead for some time …. I could go on. It’s not somewhere I would like my baby/child to go considering the inflated price menu. The parents were played for fools.

      Reply
      • June 20, 2014 at 9:17 am
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        Lisa, I was often collecting my children close to the end of the school day and the garden area was always very tidy. I was also often first throughout gates in the morning and can say confidently that the garden was well maintained.

        There was a small grow-house used for teaching the children about vegetables and plants. It may have appeared to be full of expired plants but it was never poorly maintained.

        Parents are not inflallible and perhaps we were all duped by the staff, but children aren’t so easily appeased and happy children paint a picture of a good nursery.

        The educational standards were very good from Merryfields and many children who have now moved nursery have expressed how they miss circle time, doing numbers and commented on how they only seem to ‘play’ at their new establishments.

        I do not doubt that if you live next it this school and can see and watch the children and the staff that you may have seen things parents haven’t. But if this is the case perhaps you could elaborate on what you have witnessed and allow us to judge the value of your comments?

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  • June 16, 2014 at 10:15 am
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    Both of my children were pupils at Merryfields and our youngest at 20 months was there when they closed.

    This was an excellent facility and it’s closure was a result of the hard work and dedication of Gary and his team and the happiness and positive development not being reflected by this latest inspection.

    The slapping of a child’s hand by a care professional is unacceptable. It does not however, reflect the quality if Childcare that we witnessed at this school. The teachers were loved by the children and they often couldn’t wait to see their teachers and friends. It was a community facility. We met many good friends via this preschool and it is a shame that Gary felt no alternative but to throw in the towel.

    This was a great preschool. It closed because of a low grade from the inspectors forced the hand of the head. It was not closed by offsted. It was not closed as a result of the actions of a frustrated member of staff disciplining a child incorrectly.

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    • June 17, 2014 at 1:17 pm
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      Again Gary, it comes down to the Professionalismn of the Inspectors? when will OFSTED learn to ensure that Inspectors are of a standard to be objective in their reporting and factual!! AND ALSO EXTREMELY COMPETENT THEMSELVES…. My sentiments on the school, although I do not know it, are expressed above.

      Reply

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