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Islington nursery staff fired for child porn video

06:15 07 March 2013

The Monkey Puzzle Nursery

The Monkey Puzzle Nursery

Archant

A private nursery school was closed for two days and two members of staff have been sacked for watching a child porn video at work.

The Monkey Puzzle Nursery, in Amwell Street, Finsbury, suspended and then dismissed the workers after they were caught receiving and viewing a video with indecent images of children. The nursery says it was not connected to any of the children there.

Ofsted, the education watchdog, suspended Monkey Puzzle’s registration last Wednesday while they looked into the matter. After a visit, the nursery was allowed to re-open on Friday

Monkey Puzzle bosses said that the closure order was due to them not reporting the incident until 48 hours after a statutory 14-day period.

Ofsted is now helping a specialist police unit, the Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT) examine the evidence.

A spokesman for CAIT said: “Police are investigating an incident after two members of staff at a nursery were found to have viewed an indecent video of children while at work. No arrests have been made.”

Rebecca Crosby, operations manager for the Monkey Puzzle group, said: “The safety of our children is our main priority and at all times we adhered to our safeguarding procedures, immediately suspended the members of staff concerned and at no time was the safety of the children compromised. The images in this viral video were in no way connected to the nursery.”

The staff members claim the video was unsolicited, while nursery bosses say police have received more than 10,000 complaints about an identical clip from people who were sent it without requesting it.

Ms Crosby added: “When we reported the incident, the police already knew of the clip’s contents and informed us that it had originated outside the UK and that a large investigation is already underway.”

A spokesman for Ofsted said: “Parents should be assured that when we were made aware of the concerns at the Monkey Puzzle Nursery we made an unannounced visit to check the appropriate safeguarding provisions for the children were in place.”

Islington Council is also helping enquiries. A spokesman for the town hall said: “Although we do not place children at Monkey Puzzle, we are always concerned that local children are properly protected and offer support to all nurseries in the borough to help them maintain high standards.

“We were notified by Ofsted of their concerns at Monkey Puzzle and await the outcome of their investigation.”

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