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Tragedy nursery set to stay closed
THE York nursery where a three-year-old child died last month looks set to remain closed permanently, sparking redundancy fears for staff and concerns that parents will struggle to find alternative care.
York College announced yesterday it was proposing not to reopen its day nursery, which has been shut since September 17, when Lydia Bishop was found on an outdoor slide with a rope around her neck and efforts to revive her proved in vain.
A spokeswoman said the closure proposal had been made in light of the complexity of the ongoing police investigation, and in consultation with the local authority, the college’s board of corporation and Ofsted.
She said: “The college recognises that this proposal will be disappointing for many parents, who were hoping that the nursery would reopen, as previously intended, on November 5.
“However, the circumstances are such that the college feels that it is right to remain closed.”
The principal, Dr Alison Birkinshaw, said in a letter to parents that the proposal had been made with reluctance.
“I know that at the very least, you will now have to manage further disruption and inconvenience.”
She went on to say they had not come to the decision lightly. She said the college would continue to do all it could to support people affected, including nursery staff and parents. “The thoughts of everyone at York College remain with Lydia Bishop and her family.”
Unison spokeswoman Heather McKenzie said the union had been informed that the college was going out to a 30-day consultation on proposals to shut the nursery, and she feared this was likely to lead to redundancies among the 26 members of staff.
A woman contacted The Press to say that two of her children had attended the nursery and the closure would cause her massive difficulties.
She said she had been taking time off work to look after her children since the nursery shut, in the belief it would reopen after half-term. “I feel we have been led up the garden path,” she said, adding that she had no criticisms of the “fantastic” nursery staff.