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Islington parents demand answers as nursery shuts after child porn incident

PUBLISHED: 11:21 10 May 2013 | UPDATED: 14:52 10 May 2013

The Monkey Puzzle Nursery

The Monkey Puzzle Nursery

Archant

A toddlers’ nursery found to be failing to safeguard children is set to close just months after two staff members were sacked for watching a child porn video at work.

The Monkey Puzzle Nursery, in Amwell Street, Finsbury, was swooped on by Ofsted inspectors for a second time following news of the shock porn clip – scoring the beleaguered nursery “inadequate” in every single category.

Outraged parents have now been given a month’s notice to find alternative day care for their children before the private nursery shuts following the damning report.

The inspection, the results of which were published last month, found “arrangements for safeguarding children are not adequate”.

An earlier visit had been made by the education watchdog which suspended Monkey Puzzle’s registration after news of the clip emerged. It had failed to inform Ofsted of the clip within the 14 days they were required to under statutory guidance.

Parents have now been told the nursery is closing because the landlord of the property has secured planning permission to turn the premises into flats.

But a search of Islington Council’s website shows the last registered planning application for the property was back in 2005.

Bruce Carr, who is spending £1,800 a month to send his two children to the nursery, said parents are outraged.

He said: “They’re telling us it’s for planning reasons, but it’s obviously to do with this Ofsted report.

“It’s outrageous. One month is not long enough. And after the incident with the porn video we’re just left wondering what’s going on with the people running this place.

“Most of the staff have been absolutely fantastic. It’s just the people running it. We feel totally let down by the whole thing. Everyone’s livid.”

Around 20 staff work at the nursery which provides day care for about 62 children.

The latest Ofsted report, published last month following a further inspection three weeks after news of the porn video clip emerged, found that:

• Management do not provide enough stability to staff

• Workers do not speak enough, or with enough meaning to support children to develop their vocabulary

• Staff are not clear on their roles and responsibilities, particularly with regards to safeguarding

• Areas of the premises are not clean with children not having regular opportunities to become independent from a young age

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said two woman aged 31 and 33 remain on bail and enquiries continue into the porn video incident, which contained indecent images of children.

However, 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.

A Monkey Puzzle spokesman said: “The landlord has informed us that he has planning permission to convert the building into flats.

“We regret the situation but we have been left with no alternative.

“We would like to thank all parents for their loyal support over the past three years and we have very much enjoyed being a part of the Islington community.”


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