Lavenham Pre-school temporarily closed as manager resigns

The official opening of the new Lavenham Pre-School building last year as Lyn Gurling cuts the tape

The official opening of the new Lavenham Pre-School building last year as Lyn Gurling cuts the tape with councillor Margaret Maybury, manager Katherine Eves, and staff. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT - Credit: Archant

A west Suffolk pre-school has temporarily closed and the manager has quit following a string of staff resignations.

Six staff members at Lavenham Pre-school were understood to have handed in their notices over concerns to extend its opening hours to include school holidays.

But it is now believed that a number of staff members have since their withdrawn their resignations and the pre-school could re-open next week.

In an email sent to parents on Wednesday, the pre-school’s committee revealed that manager Katherine Eves is set to leave.

The statement read: “It is with regret that I inform you that Katherine Eves has decided not to continue in her role and her last day of employment will be May 18.

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“We would like to thank Katherine for all the hard work and dedication she has given to the pre-school, particularly in achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating and for facilitating the move to the current, amazing setting. We wish her all the very best.

“The pre-school is currently not able to provide a service but the committee are working very hard to reopen as soon as possible and we will keep you updated.”

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The pre-school opened just seven months ago following a £400,000 village fundraising campaign.

It was previously based at Lavenham Primary School in Barn Street and catered for 30 children on a ‘mornings only’ basis.

Bigger premises were needed after the amount of funded childcare available to parents increased from 15 to 30 hours last September.

The grant money from the Department of Education (DfE) to set up the new facility was part of a £835,000 cash windfall that went to three other pre-schools. The rest of the funds were raised by villagers.

Suffolk County Council (SCC) said last week that it secured substantial capital funding from a DfE grant to build new facilities for the pre-school on the condition it would offer funded 30 hour childcare for three and four-year-olds for eligible working parents.

A SCC spokeswoman said: “The committee has made us aware that the pre-school is currently closed.

“We are continuing to support the committee to make arrangements to fill the vacancies and it is hoped that any disruptions to the current opening times will be short-term.”

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