'Outstanding' Monty's Montessori School fighting threat of closure after decade of service in Archway
PUBLISHED: 07:01 23 February 2017
A much-loved nursery is fighting the threat of closure after more than a decade of dedicated service in Archway.
The news that Monty’s Montessori – rated “Outstanding” in its most recent Ofsted inspection – will no longer be able to run at Hargrave Hall from September has been met with dismay by scores of past and present parents.
Hargrave Hall Community Association, which manages the hall on behalf of Islington Council, has decided Monty’s, as a private business, “does not meet with its plans for the future” and will not be renewing the lease.
The school was founded by Carole Montana, who is balancing her time as headteacher with pounding the streets alongside parents armed with leaflets – 4,000 of which have already been delivered – explaining their predicament.
She said: “Obviously we would have loved to stay here. It has been like a fairytale these past 10 years.
"“Obviously we would have loved to stay here. It has been like a fairytale these past 10 years. I went to the worst school ever growing up so I started this place to give others an opportunity I didn’t have.”"
“I went to the worst school ever growing up so I started this place to give others an opportunity I didn’t have.”
Kellee Hubbert has been acting as Carole’s personal assistant, and has spent many “exhausting” hours visiting more than 20 potential venues across Islington and beyond. “We’ve had no success yet,” she said. “But we have a band of parents and former parents who are determined to search far and wide for a suitable new home.”
Carole, nominated for the Black British Business Awards last year, certainly has a growing network of support behind her.
Parent Victoria Goodall said: “Monty’s is a gem in the midst of Archway and is something we, as a community, should value and support. Carole’s nurturing approach enables children to gain confidence and understand the importance of values such as respect and kindness. Our daughter has flourished in her time at Monty’s and even asks to go there at the weekend.”
Fellow parent Helen Roberts added: “Rather than having to leave its home, Monty’s should be a held up as an exemplar of creative, stimulating early years education in inner London.”
Centre manager Alwyn McLennan said: “Hargrave Hall is a community centre with charity status. It has been decided the centre needs to allow more community activities accessible to all to use the centre. Monty’s has always been a good tenant. I hope it can find new premises.”
The private school caters for 30 students and a building with a garden and office space would be suitable. It costs just over £2,000 a term to send a two-year-old to Monty’s for three mornings a week, or £3,830 for five mornings and afternoons a week.
Islington Council said: “Our community centres are important resources and we are working to open them up to provide activities for a broad range of residents and community groups.” If you think you can help Monty’s find a new home call 020 7281 3889.