Highgate branch of Montessori nursery where babies fell off furniture to close down
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
A failing Highgate Montessori nursery is to close down today as Ofsted shuts down its sister branch in Muswell Hill for allowing babies to fall off furniture and hurt themselves.
The ‘inadequate’ Nursery Montessori in Woodside Avenue, Highgate, and its sister branch in Tetherdown, Muswell Hill, will both close at 7pm and will not reopen.
As reported in the Ham&High Broadway yesterday, the 23-year-old Muswell Hill branch was due to close after Ofsted sought to cancel its registration – effectively shutting it down – following a damning Ofsted report published last month.
Inspectors returned a few weeks ago to rule that no improvements had been made.
“It is not acceptable that insufficient improvement has been achieved, which brings into question the provider’s capacity to improve,” an Ofsted report stated last week. “Ofsted are now taking steps to cancel the provider’s registration.”
The Muswell Hill nursery, which charges parents up to £18,500 a year, was slammed by the watchdog last month over fears for children’s safety.
One of the most alarming sections of the report revealed that inspectors saw babies falling from a small sofa and a rocking horse, hurting their knees.
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They also observed babies being stripped to their vests and cooled down with cold water when they got too hot because there is no air-conditioning.
A former nursery parent, who wished to remain anonymous, welcomed the nursery’s closure.
He said: “It was dreadful. It should have been shut down a long time ago.
“When we were there, a lot of parents were very concerned and looking for other nurseries, At one time, there weren’t many kids there because parents were pulling them out.”
He added: “It’s an awful lot of money a month and we were really upset.”
Ofsted had ordered the nursery to improve on 20 separate points after carrying out an inspection in June.
But improvements had not been made by the time inspectors revisited the nursery on August 4 and again on August 11.
Highgate councillor Liz Morris, Lib Dem spokeswoman for children, said: “Ofsted is right to take firm action against any nursery that has been found wanting and fails to improve. It is vital that children are safe and that nursery places are of a good standard.”
It is not the first time the nursery, which cares for 42 children up to the age of five, has come under fire from Ofsted.
In 2012, Ofsted temporarily closed the nursery after it found that children were potentially “at risk of harm”.
No further details about the incident were provided.
The Woodside Avenue branch, which has been temporarily closed, has also been failed repeatedly by inspectors.
A spokeswoman for the nursery had denied the centre would be closing when contacted by the Broadway earlier this week but refused to comment further.