Active Learning Nursery in Kingston has been temporarily closed whilst police and Ofsted carry out investigations.
Representatives from the nursery say the temporary closure is against “natural justice” and that their staff are not the focus of the investigation, the reason for which is still unknown.
They have stated that their staff have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the police but stated that:
“Ofsted has temporarily withdrawn the nursery’s registration due to an ongoing police investigation.
“The police have now concluded interviews with our staff and have informed us that there are no suspects within the nursery, however Ofsted has decided – for reasons it has not yet communicated to us – to suspend our registration.
“Whilst safeguarding of children is at the heart of everything we stand for, we believe this decision is overcautious in the extreme and Ofsted is acting in the face of natural justice by suspending the licence before carrying out its own investigation.
“All staff remain employed by Active Learning and Ofsted has informed us that they are free to work within our other nurseries and, indeed, elsewhere within the industry or privately.
“We recognise the disruption currently caused to parents and their children and we are working closely with them to secure alternative childcare arrangements during the temporary suspension.
“Ofsted has completed its investigation this afternoon and we would urge it to report its finding as soon as possible.”
An Ofsted spokesman said: “We can confirm that Ofsted is liaising with the relevant agencies whilst conducting its own investigation. The nursery will remain suspended whilst this is carried out.”
So what’s it all about?
The nursery is said to have been closed as they investigate safeguarding concerns, having received allegations on Friday July 18th.
Informing parents by email of the closure has made some feel as though they are being stonewalled.
One parent has said: “The communication has been extremely badly handled. The parents are getting a feeling of complete stone-walling.
“You’ve got 100-plus kids that have been massively let down.”
Rajan Giritharan, a father-of-three from New Malden, said: “I’m a bit concerned. It could be anything. It could be Health and Safety or they have employed somebody without checking.
“If it has gone to police it can’t be trivial. We need to know the nature of the allegation.”
When collecting their children from the nursery last Wednesday, parents were met by a senior principal from the Active Learning chain who informed them that the centre may be closed for weeks.
For the peace of mind of parents should Ofsted be communicating more about the grounds for the investigation?