Mystery surrounds future of pre-school
PUBLISHED: 17:43 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:16 02 December 2019
A Suffolk pre-school has been closed this week, with an urgent meeting set to take place to establish its future.
Mendlesham Pre-School, near Stowmarket - which is independently run by the registered charity Mendlesham Pre-School Committee - is not open for business. However, the reason behind the current closure remains unclear.
An extraordinary meeting is set to take place on Wednesday, December 11, about its future.
In a public statement on the parish council website, Marnie O'Hare, the pre-school committee's chairwoman, said: "You will be aware that Mendlesham Pre-School has been unable to provide a childcare facility for children as of 27th November 2019 and that a EGM has been called on December 11 to discuss the position of the pre-school.
"We understand recent events have come as a shock and disappointment to the community and a statement will be issued after the committee have convened and further advice taken from those organisations with whom we are working closely. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and support at this difficult time."
The EGM is open to committee members only - including staff, trustees and current parents/carers - and cannot be attended by members of the general public.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council added: "We understand that this is a frustrating time for parents who have been affected by this closure and we are here to help parents find alternative childcare arrangements. "Parents can contact us via our Family Information Service on 0345 608 0033 to discuss possible childcare options.
"Our phone lines are open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm, and Fridays from 9am to 4.30pm. Please leave a message which includes your contact details and your call will be returned.
"Parents can also find further information via www.suffolk.gov.uk/family."
The pre-school, which is understood to only have seven children enrolled, came under fire from inspectors this summer after insects and weeds were found in sand pits on site.
It was judged 'requires improvement' by the regulator following an inspection in May after its 'good' rating in June 2016.
In particular, Ofsted inspectors said the staff had failed to promote good health among the children to reduce the risks of cross-infection.
Representatives for the pre-school, in Old Station Road, have been approached for comment.