Merryfield Pre-school in Chingford closes after toddler slapping probe

Private pre-school in Station Road closed on May 21 after 21 years

Private pre-school in Station Road closed on May 21 after 21 years

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Chingford, Highams Park and Woodford. Call me on 07795 476 625

A pre-school has closed after a toddler was slapped by a member of staff.

Police investigated the incident at Merryfield Pre-School in Station Road, Chingford, involving a girl aged 16 months after being alerted by her mother, Nuraya Asiroglu.

Officers decided the incident on March 27 was not serious enough to warrant a criminal investigation, despite the slap being heard throughout the room and girl being left in tears.

A police spokeswoman said: "Detectives can confirm the incident was dealt with internally by the school and did not require any further police involvement."

Headteacher Gary Wilson reported the incident to Ofsted, saying the member of staff “overreacted” to the child in response to her pulling another child’s hair.

'On seeing this, the staff member slapped the child on her hand,” he added.

'This was witnessed by one of our practitioners who immediately informed one of her colleagues and the school’s manager.”

Ofsted then launched an investigation and assessed standards at the school, which had been previously rated good.

But inspectors ranked the school as inadequate, although the reasons for this have not been made public.

He then decided to close the school.

In a letter to parents, he said: "We have recently been subjected to an Ofsted inspection.

"We are not permitted to tell you the outcome of that inspection although we do not expect our hard work to be reflected in the outcome.

"Regardless of that outcome I find myself unable to work under the guidance of our regulatory body any longer."

Ms Asiroglu said she was unhappy about how the issue was handled, claiming she was made to feel like she and her daughter had done something wrong.

She pulled her daughter out of the nursery weeks after the incident.

"Emotionally, I felt very distraught and had lost all my trust and faith in the nursery," added Mrs Asiroglu.

Comments (18)

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1:47pm Fri 13 Jun 14

ViewpointE4 says...

"She pulled her daughter out of the nursery weeks after the incident".

If I were so distraught about the incident I would have removed my daughter from the school on the same day, why wait weeks?

What the staff member did was wrong but surely this could have been dealt with adequately by the schools disciplinary system even if it meant at worst that the staff member was dismissed.

Getting the police involved in this situation seems an overly hysterical reaction.

End result is chingford has lost a pre-school which is needed, parents will now be struggling to get their little ones into other facilities and all the staff have lost their jobs. Sad outcome all round.
"She pulled her daughter out of the nursery weeks after the incident". If I were so distraught about the incident I would have removed my daughter from the school on the same day, why wait weeks? What the staff member did was wrong but surely this could have been dealt with adequately by the schools disciplinary system even if it meant at worst that the staff member was dismissed. Getting the police involved in this situation seems an overly hysterical reaction. End result is chingford has lost a pre-school which is needed, parents will now be struggling to get their little ones into other facilities and all the staff have lost their jobs. Sad outcome all round. ViewpointE4
  • Score: 29

4:52pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Nobody deserves a slap. This is outrageous. Public actuary ,the least one would expect.
Nobody deserves a slap. This is outrageous. Public actuary ,the least one would expect. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -23

9:19pm Sat 14 Jun 14

SpursSupporter1 says...

Agree why wait weeks I would have taken my child that day but it was an assault all be it minor that member of staff should have been arrested its simple as that, il bet there isn't one person that would say other wise if it was their child, could you imagine the uproar therd be if this happened in a primary or secondary school? The school was closed by Ofsted for various reasons that in itself tells me I wouldn't want my child going there, saying "I feel I cant work under our regularity board any more" maybe if you ran your school/nursery in the right way then you wouldn't be in this situation.
Agree why wait weeks I would have taken my child that day but it was an assault all be it minor that member of staff should have been arrested its simple as that, il bet there isn't one person that would say other wise if it was their child, could you imagine the uproar therd be if this happened in a primary or secondary school? The school was closed by Ofsted for various reasons that in itself tells me I wouldn't want my child going there, saying "I feel I cant work under our regularity board any more" maybe if you ran your school/nursery in the right way then you wouldn't be in this situation. SpursSupporter1
  • Score: -18

6:38am Mon 16 Jun 14

tjm01 says...

Ms Asiroglu said she was unhappy about how the issue was handled, claiming she was made to feel like she and her daughter had done something wrong.

She pulled her daughter out of the nursery weeks after the incident.

"Emotionally, I felt very distraught and had lost all my trust and faith in the nursery," added Mrs Asiroglu.

Totally unacceptable behaviour by the teacher,however if it took weeks for the mother to decide on her course of action maybe there's an underlying agenda
Ms Asiroglu said she was unhappy about how the issue was handled, claiming she was made to feel like she and her daughter had done something wrong. She pulled her daughter out of the nursery weeks after the incident. "Emotionally, I felt very distraught and had lost all my trust and faith in the nursery," added Mrs Asiroglu. Totally unacceptable behaviour by the teacher,however if it took weeks for the mother to decide on her course of action maybe there's an underlying agenda tjm01
  • Score: 20

10:48am Mon 16 Jun 14

North Chingford Resident says...

Both of my children attended Merryfield Pre-School, one of them (24 months old) was still in their care at the time of their closure.

Whilst the incident of a child's hand being slapped is alarming, it would have in no way influenced my stance that Merryfield offered an exceptional educational facility to my children. The staff were wonderful and the facilities were fantastic.

With four years experience of dropping off and collecting my children I can honestly say that the children there were always happy and well looked after. Reporting an incident of a child's hand being slapped to the police seems excessive. From this report, it appears that the Gary had reported this incident to the regulatory authorities himself. It is a shame that their latest report would have marked this facility as inadequate but I suspect that this rating was in no way a result of unhappy and poorly treated children. I suspect, but will most likely never know, that his has more to do with 'paper-work and administration' than it does with the qualoty of the childcare provide.

We shall all miss Merryfield's nursery. It was a wonderful facility and we wish Gary, and his staff all the best for their future.
Both of my children attended Merryfield Pre-School, one of them (24 months old) was still in their care at the time of their closure. Whilst the incident of a child's hand being slapped is alarming, it would have in no way influenced my stance that Merryfield offered an exceptional educational facility to my children. The staff were wonderful and the facilities were fantastic. With four years experience of dropping off and collecting my children I can honestly say that the children there were always happy and well looked after. Reporting an incident of a child's hand being slapped to the police seems excessive. From this report, it appears that the Gary had reported this incident to the regulatory authorities himself. It is a shame that their latest report would have marked this facility as inadequate but I suspect that this rating was in no way a result of unhappy and poorly treated children. I suspect, but will most likely never know, that his has more to do with 'paper-work and administration' than it does with the qualoty of the childcare provide. We shall all miss Merryfield's nursery. It was a wonderful facility and we wish Gary, and his staff all the best for their future. North Chingford Resident
  • Score: 26

3:56pm Mon 16 Jun 14

chingfordE4mum says...

I think it is very important that people reading this article are given all sides of the story.

My 2 year old child was also in attendance at the time of the nursery closure, and was also in the same class as the parent in question’s child, who was put on a behavioural plan by Merryfield’s for scratching and harming other children in the class, of which my child had been a victim on numerous occasions.

I have a catalogue of photos of the harm the parent in question’s daughter caused to my child, who was scratched on an almost daily basis for some weeks. These include scratches to the face, and eye-lids, as well as numerous other parts of his body, all of which drew blood, and some of which took more than a week to heal.

As a deeply distressed and concerned parent I asked what the Merryfield’s staff were doing to try and resolve these issues. I was advised that they had put a behavioural programme in place for the child to try and work with the child to reduce these incidents, explaining to her how to play gently, and asking her to say sorry when she could visibly see she had hurt or harmed another class member.

However, since her mother was unwilling to adhere to this same programme at home, and with the frequency of incidents unreduced over the course of a month, the staff requested that the parent in question reduce the number of days her daughter attended the nursery. This measure was imposed until they could see an improvement in the parent in question’s child’s behaviour at which point the child would have been invited back into full attendance at Merryfield’s. Again the nursery offered suggestions to the parent on how she could seek to improve her daughter’s behaviour, which included going to independent play groups, so that she herself could watch and learn how her daughter interacted with other children of the same age.

As an aside note on this matter, when I personally asked the staff to request that the mother cut her daughter’s nails – her response I was relayed was “she doesn’t like having her nails cut.”

I should like to point out that I would NEVER condone any member of staff slapping a child, but I find it ironic that the parent in question removed her child some weeks after the incident, and in fact only after she had been requested to reduce the number of days her daughter was allowed to attend.

If it were my child who was slapped by a member of staff, I would expect the staff member in question to be immediately dismissed and to receive a formal apology from the nursery. This is exactly what happened.
For the parent in question to retrospectively take matters to police seems more like a petty retaliation to having her child’s hours reduced, rather than an act committed out of concern for the welfare of her daughter.

Because of her reaction hundreds of other children and parents have been inconvenienced, and unsettled. Siblings have been separated from attending the same nurseries and pre-schools, since places in Chingford are in such high demand. It is, in my opinion, very sad.

I wish all the children and parents who were subject to this unnecessary upheaval all the very best of luck for the future. North Chingford has lost a wonderful nursery.
I think it is very important that people reading this article are given all sides of the story. My 2 year old child was also in attendance at the time of the nursery closure, and was also in the same class as the parent in question’s child, who was put on a behavioural plan by Merryfield’s for scratching and harming other children in the class, of which my child had been a victim on numerous occasions. I have a catalogue of photos of the harm the parent in question’s daughter caused to my child, who was scratched on an almost daily basis for some weeks. These include scratches to the face, and eye-lids, as well as numerous other parts of his body, all of which drew blood, and some of which took more than a week to heal. As a deeply distressed and concerned parent I asked what the Merryfield’s staff were doing to try and resolve these issues. I was advised that they had put a behavioural programme in place for the child to try and work with the child to reduce these incidents, explaining to her how to play gently, and asking her to say sorry when she could visibly see she had hurt or harmed another class member. However, since her mother was unwilling to adhere to this same programme at home, and with the frequency of incidents unreduced over the course of a month, the staff requested that the parent in question reduce the number of days her daughter attended the nursery. This measure was imposed until they could see an improvement in the parent in question’s child’s behaviour at which point the child would have been invited back into full attendance at Merryfield’s. Again the nursery offered suggestions to the parent on how she could seek to improve her daughter’s behaviour, which included going to independent play groups, so that she herself could watch and learn how her daughter interacted with other children of the same age. As an aside note on this matter, when I personally asked the staff to request that the mother cut her daughter’s nails – her response I was relayed was “she doesn’t like having her nails cut.” I should like to point out that I would NEVER condone any member of staff slapping a child, but I find it ironic that the parent in question removed her child some weeks after the incident, and in fact only after she had been requested to reduce the number of days her daughter was allowed to attend. If it were my child who was slapped by a member of staff, I would expect the staff member in question to be immediately dismissed and to receive a formal apology from the nursery. This is exactly what happened. For the parent in question to retrospectively take matters to police seems more like a petty retaliation to having her child’s hours reduced, rather than an act committed out of concern for the welfare of her daughter. Because of her reaction hundreds of other children and parents have been inconvenienced, and unsettled. Siblings have been separated from attending the same nurseries and pre-schools, since places in Chingford are in such high demand. It is, in my opinion, very sad. I wish all the children and parents who were subject to this unnecessary upheaval all the very best of luck for the future. North Chingford has lost a wonderful nursery. chingfordE4mum
  • Score: 38

2:32pm Tue 17 Jun 14

North Chingford mum says...

I agree, it is a shame that this very regrettable incident has been escalated to the extent that Gary had to shut the nursery. My two children were at Merryfield until it closed down a month ago. My younger child was in Ms Ms Asiroglu's daughter's room, and a month after its closure my daughter still mentions that Ms Asiroglu's daugher scratched her. She also, as well as the previous contributor's child, had scratches on many occasions from Ms Asiroglu's daughter. Whilst I did not expect the child to be slapped, I also did not expect my daughter to be scratched due to a family's unwillingness to follow a behaviour plan.

I have had to relocate both children from a place that they knew and loved. Anyone with children will know that settling children in somewhere new is not easy. I understand that a member of staff should never lay a finger on a child but the closure of Merryfield, which was a lovely nursery in the centre of the community with genuinely caring staff, has left so many families having to go elsewhere for childcare as there is nowhere else in North Chingford.
I agree, it is a shame that this very regrettable incident has been escalated to the extent that Gary had to shut the nursery. My two children were at Merryfield until it closed down a month ago. My younger child was in Ms Ms Asiroglu's daughter's room, and a month after its closure my daughter still mentions that Ms Asiroglu's daugher scratched her. She also, as well as the previous contributor's child, had scratches on many occasions from Ms Asiroglu's daughter. Whilst I did not expect the child to be slapped, I also did not expect my daughter to be scratched due to a family's unwillingness to follow a behaviour plan. I have had to relocate both children from a place that they knew and loved. Anyone with children will know that settling children in somewhere new is not easy. I understand that a member of staff should never lay a finger on a child but the closure of Merryfield, which was a lovely nursery in the centre of the community with genuinely caring staff, has left so many families having to go elsewhere for childcare as there is nowhere else in North Chingford. North Chingford mum
  • Score: 20

9:41pm Wed 18 Jun 14

Paintedladybutterfly says...

Can we really summarise a life dedicated to the families and children of North Chingford with such an article?

Merryfield has been around for 21 years giving care for many generations and job for lots of employees. I must admit in my short nursery teacher career I have seen some inadequate nurseries… Merryfield, in contrast was one of the best in North Chingford with a prestige and a high rated competitor for all the other local ones. Why? Because, it was led by a devoted headmaster, who could share his aspirations to thrive for the best with his team. He and his family were working very hard to meet all standards. It must have been challenging from time to time, for example finding the right staff and dealing with demanding parents. But he stayed and shared his enthusiasm day by day. He very rarely missed a day not to be present on the premises. He used to come in with one hundred plans and kept on smiling. He was received with a big cheer when he appeared in the breakfast room as all the children adored him. They shouted out his name and were ready to give him a hug or share the news of the day with him. And probably others could be adding more praises…

He was looking forward to every day, until the day he was ready to let it go…

The nursery closure notice caused a big commotion as families were left without childcare and members of staff without jobs. The headmaster stayed loyal all along and supported everybody.

“An end of an era” one parent said one month ago when all this ended. Members of staff were receiving wonderful bunches of flowers, piles and piles of cards, chocolate boxes and all sorts of treats from the parents expressing their gratitude. Tears sprang in lots of eyes and hugs were given. Yes it was heart-breaking to see the little angels leave the premises for the last time, pulling down blinds on windows and closing the doors behind.

It just didn’t feel real…

Why could this happen? Can we blame the member of staff, a mother of two herself, who has been witnessing a little one terrorising other children and in a moment upheavel reacted as she would probably with her own children? Can we blame the mum, who just tried to defend her own little treasure and went a bit extreme? Can we blame the regulatory body, who with all their newest laws try to raise the childcare level in UK? Can we question the judgement of the inspector, when they are so many other nurseries in outrageous state and led by incompetent people still active and yet her decision closes a good nursery? Can we blame the headmaster getting tired of it all?

We can always blame the other… I believe the problem is that while we all make mistakes, what we forget is to listen and try to understand other points of views, not to mention the ability to forgive.
Can we really summarise a life dedicated to the families and children of North Chingford with such an article? Merryfield has been around for 21 years giving care for many generations and job for lots of employees. I must admit in my short nursery teacher career I have seen some inadequate nurseries… Merryfield, in contrast was one of the best in North Chingford with a prestige and a high rated competitor for all the other local ones. Why? Because, it was led by a devoted headmaster, who could share his aspirations to thrive for the best with his team. He and his family were working very hard to meet all standards. It must have been challenging from time to time, for example finding the right staff and dealing with demanding parents. But he stayed and shared his enthusiasm day by day. He very rarely missed a day not to be present on the premises. He used to come in with one hundred plans and kept on smiling. He was received with a big cheer when he appeared in the breakfast room as all the children adored him. They shouted out his name and were ready to give him a hug or share the news of the day with him. And probably others could be adding more praises… He was looking forward to every day, until the day he was ready to let it go… The nursery closure notice caused a big commotion as families were left without childcare and members of staff without jobs. The headmaster stayed loyal all along and supported everybody. “An end of an era” one parent said one month ago when all this ended. Members of staff were receiving wonderful bunches of flowers, piles and piles of cards, chocolate boxes and all sorts of treats from the parents expressing their gratitude. Tears sprang in lots of eyes and hugs were given. Yes it was heart-breaking to see the little angels leave the premises for the last time, pulling down blinds on windows and closing the doors behind. It just didn’t feel real… Why could this happen? Can we blame the member of staff, a mother of two herself, who has been witnessing a little one terrorising other children and in a moment upheavel reacted as she would probably with her own children? Can we blame the mum, who just tried to defend her own little treasure and went a bit extreme? Can we blame the regulatory body, who with all their newest laws try to raise the childcare level in UK? Can we question the judgement of the inspector, when they are so many other nurseries in outrageous state and led by incompetent people still active and yet her decision closes a good nursery? Can we blame the headmaster getting tired of it all? We can always blame the other… I believe the problem is that while we all make mistakes, what we forget is to listen and try to understand other points of views, not to mention the ability to forgive. Paintedladybutterfly
  • Score: 9

9:12pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Station road says...

As a parent myself I'm shocked at some of the parents comments ,staff who are trained to deal with children's needs and have policies to follow in situations like this to protect children should NEVER hit any child no matter what happens .I can't imagine how the parent feels knowing this happened to her child it's no excuse for this kind of behaviourl.My heart goes out to the family of this poor child,I'm sure anyone in this situation would do the same.Good luck to these sad selfish parents who think this is acceptable.:(
As a parent myself I'm shocked at some of the parents comments ,staff who are trained to deal with children's needs and have policies to follow in situations like this to protect children should NEVER hit any child no matter what happens .I can't imagine how the parent feels knowing this happened to her child it's no excuse for this kind of behaviourl.My heart goes out to the family of this poor child,I'm sure anyone in this situation would do the same.Good luck to these sad selfish parents who think this is acceptable.:( Station road
  • Score: -2

11:46pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Mrs Asiroglu says...

Please allow me to introduce myself I am Mrs Asiroglu, a 33 year old mother of two.

A appreciate all comments both negative and positive, each to their own.

I would like to share with you first hand my side of the story. My daughter started Merrifield's 2 months prior to this incident. She is a happy bubbly toddler from a warm loving home.

On March 27th 2014, I went to pick my daughter up as usual, she seemed very distressed and was in tears, she cried all the way home and had loss of appetite, I assumed that she was perhaps coming down with the flu or something, as this was very odd behaviour. She cried herself to sleep in my arms around 8pm.
At 8.30pm Mr Gary Wilson phoned me, and was very apologetic he said that my daughter was slapped by a 37 year old polish lady by the name of MONIKA and it was witnessed and herd by all members of staff in the room. Note: when an incident or accident takes place the parent must be notified immediately by telephone, if unreachable, then the parent should be notified on collection of child. I received the call at 8.30pm.
Mr. Gary Wilson went on, by stating that the manager Ms S. Denver was called down from the office and that she dealt with the situation immediately and frog marched Monika off the premises. Mr Gary Wilson was 100% on my side at the time of this incident; he also told me that he was going to self-report the incident to Ofsted. (His choice)

As you can imagine, I was in a real state of shock as any loving parent would be, over the weekend I had time to think about this situation and to claim down.

Note; this incident took place on 27th March Mr. Gary Wilson cc’ me in to the ofsted report on 2nd April. (This should have been done immediately). Ms S. Denver and Mr Gary Wilson both wrote on their statements to ofsted and to the police that Ms S Denver dealt with the incident on the day that it happened. This is a false allegation as Ms S Denver was on holiday, I have been given pictorial evidence with times and date thanks to a decent member of staff at Merrifield's and the freedom of social network.

On the 4th April Ofsted called me and instructed me to independently report Monika. I called up the office and informed the manager Ms S. Denver, she was fully aware of the situation and reassured me that this was okay and that I had their full support, and that it would not affect the parent partnership. I went to the police station and made my complaint.
The point that you’re all missing is; I did not complain about the setting, only about the lady that slapped my child, in fact, stupidly I gave ofsted positive feedback.

On Tuesday a week after this incident Ofsted INVESTAGED the setting, the next day being –Wednesday, at 11am, I received a call from Mr Gary Wilson claiming my daughter scratched 10 children before 11 am? Mr. Gary Wilson labelled my daughter with having behavioural problems. Coincidence don’t you think? that I received this call a day after the investigation, up until this point everything was perfectly fine, besides he self-reported to ofsted not I. After putting the phone down I went straight to Mr Gary Wilson’s office, his exact words to me where you do not know the implications that your daughter has caused. In shock, I replied so you’re implying that it was my daughter’s fault that she got slapped? His reply “exact word’s” well your daughter was the trigger, Monika was the gun, and she just happened to shoot it..!! He reduced me to tears. He said that he was planning to shut the nursery down before Ofsted did. He said to me that he got a very bad report on several areas, poor management and leadership, policies where not updated nor where they followed, and "safeguarding".

You’re all asking the same question; why I stayed many weeks after. I did not stay many weeks after, I stayed 1 more week, what you guys don’t seem to realise is that, up until the phone call, I never had an issue with the setting, nor with any of the staff. My problem was with Monika the 37 year old lady that slapped my 16 month old baby, Monika was dismissed, and from that day fourth, No, I did not feel comfortable with leaving my daughter there, but like the rest of you I had no choice, I was in and out of the setting practically every day trying to find a solution with Mr.Gary Wilson. I was more than willing to cooperate.

Personal message to chingfordE4mum: for a parent; you seem to have a rather a lot of inside information it makes me wonder: are you a close friend? a member of staff? or posing as a parent? I want to know how is it even possible that you know for a fact that my 16 month of daughter (with no nails which are filed down) was the one scratching your child? Because by law a setting cannot disclose this type of information nor can a child in an incident be named or suggested? My daughter is at a new nursery and has been for the past 2 months, they are absolutely lovely in there and to date she has not scratched or harmed any children NOT EVEN ONCE.!! Now if a child has issues do you not think she/he will continue to do so? Note; When a child has an incident or accident it must by law be recorded, both parties involved should be notified, I find it rather ironic that I have never once received these incident reports claiming my child has harmed other children, in fact I have exactly 17 emails that I have written to Mr Gary Wilson requesting to see these incident forms and guess what he never responded, makes one wonder. They were untruthful to the police and to ofsted perhaps this is another fabrication who knows. You claim your mortified how do you think I felt? I was traumatised by the whole situation, by the lack of support provided, being reduced to tears on 3 separate occasions. bullied out of the setting, what about my daughter? How do you think she felt being slapped by a grown women? your here complaining about a 16 month old hurting your child and how upsetting you feel, the feelings that your expressing is exactly how I feel. now put your self in my shoes, how would you feel about your child being harmed by an adult, I bet you don't even want to imagine it do you. My daughter can’t speak or defend herself, that pain your feeling is hundred times worse for me. If you wish to meet up by all means let’s do so, as I have nothing to hide and nor anything to be ashamed of.

As for the rest of you. You’re all against me because it was inconvenient for you all; to take time off work and to find new childcare, but let me tell you something. I pray that none of you ever go through the ordeal that I experienced as it really is traumatising. I never wanted this to happen. The only reason I shared my story was to alert parents, how do you know that your child wasn’t slapped? Maybe Monika got caught just this once!!
if she is capable of slapping a baby in a setting, I dread to think will she do it again, has she done it more than once? what if she does private nanny work? god forbid. if a 37 year old lady can lose her temper like that, then there's an serious issue.
Please allow me to introduce myself I am Mrs Asiroglu, a 33 year old mother of two. A appreciate all comments both negative and positive, each to their own. I would like to share with you first hand my side of the story. My daughter started Merrifield's 2 months prior to this incident. She is a happy bubbly toddler from a warm loving home. On March 27th 2014, I went to pick my daughter up as usual, she seemed very distressed and was in tears, she cried all the way home and had loss of appetite, I assumed that she was perhaps coming down with the flu or something, as this was very odd behaviour. She cried herself to sleep in my arms around 8pm. At 8.30pm Mr Gary Wilson phoned me, and was very apologetic he said that my daughter was slapped by a 37 year old polish lady by the name of MONIKA and it was witnessed and herd by all members of staff in the room. Note: when an incident or accident takes place the parent must be notified immediately by telephone, if unreachable, then the parent should be notified on collection of child. I received the call at 8.30pm. Mr. Gary Wilson went on, by stating that the manager Ms S. Denver was called down from the office and that she dealt with the situation immediately and frog marched Monika off the premises. Mr Gary Wilson was 100% on my side at the time of this incident; he also told me that he was going to self-report the incident to Ofsted. (His choice) As you can imagine, I was in a real state of shock as any loving parent would be, over the weekend I had time to think about this situation and to claim down. Note; this incident took place on 27th March Mr. Gary Wilson cc’ me in to the ofsted report on 2nd April. (This should have been done immediately). Ms S. Denver and Mr Gary Wilson both wrote on their statements to ofsted and to the police that Ms S Denver dealt with the incident on the day that it happened. This is a false allegation as Ms S Denver was on holiday, I have been given pictorial evidence with times and date thanks to a decent member of staff at Merrifield's and the freedom of social network. On the 4th April Ofsted called me and instructed me to independently report Monika. I called up the office and informed the manager Ms S. Denver, she was fully aware of the situation and reassured me that this was okay and that I had their full support, and that it would not affect the parent partnership. I went to the police station and made my complaint. The point that you’re all missing is; I did not complain about the setting, only about the lady that slapped my child, in fact, stupidly I gave ofsted positive feedback. On Tuesday a week after this incident Ofsted INVESTAGED the setting, the next day being –Wednesday, at 11am, I received a call from Mr Gary Wilson claiming my daughter scratched 10 children before 11 am? Mr. Gary Wilson labelled my daughter with having behavioural problems. Coincidence don’t you think? that I received this call a day after the investigation, up until this point everything was perfectly fine, besides he self-reported to ofsted not I. After putting the phone down I went straight to Mr Gary Wilson’s office, his exact words to me where you do not know the implications that your daughter has caused. In shock, I replied so you’re implying that it was my daughter’s fault that she got slapped? His reply “exact word’s” well your daughter was the trigger, Monika was the gun, and she just happened to shoot it..!! He reduced me to tears. He said that he was planning to shut the nursery down before Ofsted did. He said to me that he got a very bad report on several areas, poor management and leadership, policies where not updated nor where they followed, and "safeguarding". You’re all asking the same question; why I stayed many weeks after. I did not stay many weeks after, I stayed 1 more week, what you guys don’t seem to realise is that, up until the phone call, I never had an issue with the setting, nor with any of the staff. My problem was with Monika the 37 year old lady that slapped my 16 month old baby, Monika was dismissed, and from that day fourth, No, I did not feel comfortable with leaving my daughter there, but like the rest of you I had no choice, I was in and out of the setting practically every day trying to find a solution with Mr.Gary Wilson. I was more than willing to cooperate. Personal message to chingfordE4mum: for a parent; you seem to have a rather a lot of inside information it makes me wonder: are you a close friend? a member of staff? or posing as a parent? I want to know how is it even possible that you know for a fact that my 16 month of daughter (with no nails which are filed down) was the one scratching your child? Because by law a setting cannot disclose this type of information nor can a child in an incident be named or suggested? My daughter is at a new nursery and has been for the past 2 months, they are absolutely lovely in there and to date she has not scratched or harmed any children NOT EVEN ONCE.!! Now if a child has issues do you not think she/he will continue to do so? Note; When a child has an incident or accident it must by law be recorded, both parties involved should be notified, I find it rather ironic that I have never once received these incident reports claiming my child has harmed other children, in fact I have exactly 17 emails that I have written to Mr Gary Wilson requesting to see these incident forms and guess what he never responded, makes one wonder. They were untruthful to the police and to ofsted perhaps this is another fabrication who knows. You claim your mortified how do you think I felt? I was traumatised by the whole situation, by the lack of support provided, being reduced to tears on 3 separate occasions. bullied out of the setting, what about my daughter? How do you think she felt being slapped by a grown women? your here complaining about a 16 month old hurting your child and how upsetting you feel, the feelings that your expressing is exactly how I feel. now put your self in my shoes, how would you feel about your child being harmed by an adult, I bet you don't even want to imagine it do you. My daughter can’t speak or defend herself, that pain your feeling is hundred times worse for me. If you wish to meet up by all means let’s do so, as I have nothing to hide and nor anything to be ashamed of. As for the rest of you. You’re all against me because it was inconvenient for you all; to take time off work and to find new childcare, but let me tell you something. I pray that none of you ever go through the ordeal that I experienced as it really is traumatising. I never wanted this to happen. The only reason I shared my story was to alert parents, how do you know that your child wasn’t slapped? Maybe Monika got caught just this once!! if she is capable of slapping a baby in a setting, I dread to think will she do it again, has she done it more than once? what if she does private nanny work? god forbid. if a 37 year old lady can lose her temper like that, then there's an serious issue. Mrs Asiroglu
  • Score: -5

12:14am Thu 26 Jun 14

Mrs Asiroglu says...

chingfordE4mum wrote:
I think it is very important that people reading this article are given all sides of the story.

My 2 year old child was also in attendance at the time of the nursery closure, and was also in the same class as the parent in question’s child, who was put on a behavioural plan by Merryfield’s for scratching and harming other children in the class, of which my child had been a victim on numerous occasions.

I have a catalogue of photos of the harm the parent in question’s daughter caused to my child, who was scratched on an almost daily basis for some weeks. These include scratches to the face, and eye-lids, as well as numerous other parts of his body, all of which drew blood, and some of which took more than a week to heal.

As a deeply distressed and concerned parent I asked what the Merryfield’s staff were doing to try and resolve these issues. I was advised that they had put a behavioural programme in place for the child to try and work with the child to reduce these incidents, explaining to her how to play gently, and asking her to say sorry when she could visibly see she had hurt or harmed another class member.

However, since her mother was unwilling to adhere to this same programme at home, and with the frequency of incidents unreduced over the course of a month, the staff requested that the parent in question reduce the number of days her daughter attended the nursery. This measure was imposed until they could see an improvement in the parent in question’s child’s behaviour at which point the child would have been invited back into full attendance at Merryfield’s. Again the nursery offered suggestions to the parent on how she could seek to improve her daughter’s behaviour, which included going to independent play groups, so that she herself could watch and learn how her daughter interacted with other children of the same age.

As an aside note on this matter, when I personally asked the staff to request that the mother cut her daughter’s nails – her response I was relayed was “she doesn’t like having her nails cut.”

I should like to point out that I would NEVER condone any member of staff slapping a child, but I find it ironic that the parent in question removed her child some weeks after the incident, and in fact only after she had been requested to reduce the number of days her daughter was allowed to attend.

If it were my child who was slapped by a member of staff, I would expect the staff member in question to be immediately dismissed and to receive a formal apology from the nursery. This is exactly what happened.
For the parent in question to retrospectively take matters to police seems more like a petty retaliation to having her child’s hours reduced, rather than an act committed out of concern for the welfare of her daughter.

Because of her reaction hundreds of other children and parents have been inconvenienced, and unsettled. Siblings have been separated from attending the same nurseries and pre-schools, since places in Chingford are in such high demand. It is, in my opinion, very sad.

I wish all the children and parents who were subject to this unnecessary upheaval all the very best of luck for the future. North Chingford has lost a wonderful nursery.
My daughter has soft short nails, not blades at the end of her finger tips.
so sad, that a person can be so bitter.
[quote][p][bold]chingfordE4mum[/bold] wrote: I think it is very important that people reading this article are given all sides of the story. My 2 year old child was also in attendance at the time of the nursery closure, and was also in the same class as the parent in question’s child, who was put on a behavioural plan by Merryfield’s for scratching and harming other children in the class, of which my child had been a victim on numerous occasions. I have a catalogue of photos of the harm the parent in question’s daughter caused to my child, who was scratched on an almost daily basis for some weeks. These include scratches to the face, and eye-lids, as well as numerous other parts of his body, all of which drew blood, and some of which took more than a week to heal. As a deeply distressed and concerned parent I asked what the Merryfield’s staff were doing to try and resolve these issues. I was advised that they had put a behavioural programme in place for the child to try and work with the child to reduce these incidents, explaining to her how to play gently, and asking her to say sorry when she could visibly see she had hurt or harmed another class member. However, since her mother was unwilling to adhere to this same programme at home, and with the frequency of incidents unreduced over the course of a month, the staff requested that the parent in question reduce the number of days her daughter attended the nursery. This measure was imposed until they could see an improvement in the parent in question’s child’s behaviour at which point the child would have been invited back into full attendance at Merryfield’s. Again the nursery offered suggestions to the parent on how she could seek to improve her daughter’s behaviour, which included going to independent play groups, so that she herself could watch and learn how her daughter interacted with other children of the same age. As an aside note on this matter, when I personally asked the staff to request that the mother cut her daughter’s nails – her response I was relayed was “she doesn’t like having her nails cut.” I should like to point out that I would NEVER condone any member of staff slapping a child, but I find it ironic that the parent in question removed her child some weeks after the incident, and in fact only after she had been requested to reduce the number of days her daughter was allowed to attend. If it were my child who was slapped by a member of staff, I would expect the staff member in question to be immediately dismissed and to receive a formal apology from the nursery. This is exactly what happened. For the parent in question to retrospectively take matters to police seems more like a petty retaliation to having her child’s hours reduced, rather than an act committed out of concern for the welfare of her daughter. Because of her reaction hundreds of other children and parents have been inconvenienced, and unsettled. Siblings have been separated from attending the same nurseries and pre-schools, since places in Chingford are in such high demand. It is, in my opinion, very sad. I wish all the children and parents who were subject to this unnecessary upheaval all the very best of luck for the future. North Chingford has lost a wonderful nursery.[/p][/quote]My daughter has soft short nails, not blades at the end of her finger tips. so sad, that a person can be so bitter. Mrs Asiroglu
  • Score: -12

11:00am Thu 26 Jun 14

chingfordE4mum says...

Mrs Asiroglu I know that it was your daughter who scratched my child because when I asked my child what happened to his face/back/wrist on these numerous and separate occasions he would always reply with the same response: “M***** did it.”

You are quite correct that the nursery would not tell me who the child was – but they did not need to. My own child gave me the name. Incidentally when I expressed my concerns with other parents – they too were being told by their children that your daughter had been responsible for inflicting the injuries upon them. This is not a coincidence. It is fact.

I am delighted to hear that your child has settled well into her new nursery, and that these incidents have stopped. I would certainly pity any parent who has to go through the same upset that I, and several other parents went through at Merryfeld, of collecting their child from nursery on a daily basis – only to see that blood has been drawn from their body by another child in their class.

As for why you were never provided with an incident report I cannot comment. I certainly had to sign one off on an almost daily basis for some weeks.

Incidentally I know that other parents whose children had pushed another child in nursery in the past, for example, were always provided with an incident form to sign. Every parent signed a form where their child was the victim or the instigator. Therefore I find it very hard to believe that you were excluded from the process that was in place for everyone else.

I also find it hard to believe that the staff of Merryfield would give me false information. To what purpose would this serve? I was receiving calls at work on an almost daily basis to say that my child had again been scratched, to which I would have to leave work and collect my child - who would often be in a distressed state.

I had long and numerous conversations with Gary and Sioban about the matter asking what measures they were taking to improve this situation. I specifically asked, “Is the child’s mother aware of what is happening?” They told me you were. They also relayed parts of conversations they had had with you (having been given your consent to relay this information) regarding reducing your daughters days and the strategies they had in place to try and help her overcome these issues. You are now suggesting that you were not privy to any of these conversations – again, why would the nursery have made up this information to me, and kept it from you? My thoughts are that they did not. It suits you better to try and play the victim of being bullied out of a nursery – when in actual fact your child was bullying mine, and when the nursery concluded that they could not resolve the problem you were asked to reduce your daughter’s days.

I have given a very fair and true account of the events surrounding these issues. If what you are saying is true, and the nursery weren’t communicating to you that your child was scratching and harming other children, then perhaps it is right they were given an inadequate rating. However, that would suggest each of the girls working in the reception room had been advised to withhold this information from you, which doesn’t seem beneficial to the nursery, any of the children involved or their parents. It seems that Ofsted’s view was coloured based on the information they received surrounding the incident. The shock and disappointment with which the majority parents of children at Merryfield greeted the news, is probably the best indication that the rating was deeply at odds with the actual experiences of those who attended.
Mrs Asiroglu I know that it was your daughter who scratched my child because when I asked my child what happened to his face/back/wrist on these numerous and separate occasions he would always reply with the same response: “M***** did it.” You are quite correct that the nursery would not tell me who the child was – but they did not need to. My own child gave me the name. Incidentally when I expressed my concerns with other parents – they too were being told by their children that your daughter had been responsible for inflicting the injuries upon them. This is not a coincidence. It is fact. I am delighted to hear that your child has settled well into her new nursery, and that these incidents have stopped. I would certainly pity any parent who has to go through the same upset that I, and several other parents went through at Merryfeld, of collecting their child from nursery on a daily basis – only to see that blood has been drawn from their body by another child in their class. As for why you were never provided with an incident report I cannot comment. I certainly had to sign one off on an almost daily basis for some weeks. Incidentally I know that other parents whose children had pushed another child in nursery in the past, for example, were always provided with an incident form to sign. Every parent signed a form where their child was the victim or the instigator. Therefore I find it very hard to believe that you were excluded from the process that was in place for everyone else. I also find it hard to believe that the staff of Merryfield would give me false information. To what purpose would this serve? I was receiving calls at work on an almost daily basis to say that my child had again been scratched, to which I would have to leave work and collect my child - who would often be in a distressed state. I had long and numerous conversations with Gary and Sioban about the matter asking what measures they were taking to improve this situation. I specifically asked, “Is the child’s mother aware of what is happening?” They told me you were. They also relayed parts of conversations they had had with you (having been given your consent to relay this information) regarding reducing your daughters days and the strategies they had in place to try and help her overcome these issues. You are now suggesting that you were not privy to any of these conversations – again, why would the nursery have made up this information to me, and kept it from you? My thoughts are that they did not. It suits you better to try and play the victim of being bullied out of a nursery – when in actual fact your child was bullying mine, and when the nursery concluded that they could not resolve the problem you were asked to reduce your daughter’s days. I have given a very fair and true account of the events surrounding these issues. If what you are saying is true, and the nursery weren’t communicating to you that your child was scratching and harming other children, then perhaps it is right they were given an inadequate rating. However, that would suggest each of the girls working in the reception room had been advised to withhold this information from you, which doesn’t seem beneficial to the nursery, any of the children involved or their parents. It seems that Ofsted’s view was coloured based on the information they received surrounding the incident. The shock and disappointment with which the majority parents of children at Merryfield greeted the news, is probably the best indication that the rating was deeply at odds with the actual experiences of those who attended. chingfordE4mum
  • Score: 12

5:35pm Thu 26 Jun 14

concerned parent 1598 says...

My child was also attending the nursery during this time and we also went through the pain of changing routine and finding new childcare. Our child was very happy at the nursery and we found the staff excellent but i do not recognize the description of Gary Wilson as being universally well liked.

In fact we found the opposite, the staff were aware of his failings both administratively and in management style. We found an arrogance which would not be welcome in dealings with a regulatory body; thousands of schools cope with the administration demanded by Ofsted, it is in place to protect the children and give the parent confidence, the idea that someone could run a nursery but not cope with the admin is risible, and should be a cause for concern.

All parents who had children at the school should demand publication of the last report, otherwise we will never know why the school was judged so poorly ?

Closing the nursery appears to be a gross over reaction especially when there seem to be so many parents commenting who would have stood by the school even after a member of staff had lost control.

Come on Mr Wilson publish the report and put our minds at ease, to not do so only serves to confirm my belief that your motives were entirely selfish, and god forbid the report contains issues that parents should be concerned about.
My child was also attending the nursery during this time and we also went through the pain of changing routine and finding new childcare. Our child was very happy at the nursery and we found the staff excellent but i do not recognize the description of Gary Wilson as being universally well liked. In fact we found the opposite, the staff were aware of his failings both administratively and in management style. We found an arrogance which would not be welcome in dealings with a regulatory body; thousands of schools cope with the administration demanded by Ofsted, it is in place to protect the children and give the parent confidence, the idea that someone could run a nursery but not cope with the admin is risible, and should be a cause for concern. All parents who had children at the school should demand publication of the last report, otherwise we will never know why the school was judged so poorly ? Closing the nursery appears to be a gross over reaction especially when there seem to be so many parents commenting who would have stood by the school even after a member of staff had lost control. Come on Mr Wilson publish the report and put our minds at ease, to not do so only serves to confirm my belief that your motives were entirely selfish, and god forbid the report contains issues that parents should be concerned about. concerned parent 1598
  • Score: 9

7:09pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Station road says...

To Chingford e4 mum, You hold a lot of anger towards this poor child,pls don't forget this was an adult hitting a small child.You mentioned the school called you daily to let you know about the scratches to yr child but the mother of this poor child who was hit didn't find out till later that evening.To me this shows something wasn't right with the process of safeguarding the children at this nursery.If yr child was hurt so badly why didn't you take her out instead of wasting energy telling other parents rather then helping yr child.
To Chingford e4 mum, You hold a lot of anger towards this poor child,pls don't forget this was an adult hitting a small child.You mentioned the school called you daily to let you know about the scratches to yr child but the mother of this poor child who was hit didn't find out till later that evening.To me this shows something wasn't right with the process of safeguarding the children at this nursery.If yr child was hurt so badly why didn't you take her out instead of wasting energy telling other parents rather then helping yr child. Station road
  • Score: -9

12:02am Sat 28 Jun 14

Sarah.A. says...

I think you are all quick to judge what the child and family have all been through. This practitioner acted in a terrible manner and as rightly said already, who knows what else she has been doing. With all the horror stories we have read in the press, you have to be careful and a professional working with a child should never allow anger to take over. As a parent you would not want to put your child at risk or take the chance.
Ofsted do not close a setting for small incidents, they must of found lots of concerns. As parents you should be pleased that you have found out, instead of moaning about the incoveinence that it has caused you. You should put your child's needs first.
I think you are all quick to judge what the child and family have all been through. This practitioner acted in a terrible manner and as rightly said already, who knows what else she has been doing. With all the horror stories we have read in the press, you have to be careful and a professional working with a child should never allow anger to take over. As a parent you would not want to put your child at risk or take the chance. Ofsted do not close a setting for small incidents, they must of found lots of concerns. As parents you should be pleased that you have found out, instead of moaning about the incoveinence that it has caused you. You should put your child's needs first. Sarah.A.
  • Score: -3

9:14am Mon 30 Jun 14

Mrs Asiroglu says...

I'm sorry, I never realised that I gave birth to a vampire..!!
Mrs chingford e4 mum- Blood drawn from their bodies..!!
How can a 16 old month toddle possibly scratch and draw blood from / threw clothing and scratch a your 2 year olds back..!!
So easy to point the finger isn't it.. How do I know these scratches were not done at home?

Besides - why was I never given any incident reports.!! Because when an incident takes place both parties are informed..!! Funny that - I was never informed ..!!

Which makes me ask the question where was all the staff? Under ratio perhaps.

You think just because you was paying so much money that you was receiving the best of care, Wake up Lady ..
What makes you think your above me? I too was paying £1,200 plus per month and for what? My daughter being harmed. & to be bullied by arrogant middle class people, like you..!!

Really this is a baby we are taking about not a monster. She has shot soft Nails not blades at the end of her finger tips.. You really are a sad bitty old lady..!!

In my eyes Your a bully and no different to The lady that slapped my daughter..!!

I'm done with you arrogant people I'm done with Merryfields I have a very rich busy life to lead.. and have no time for you and your petty remarks ..

My daughter is very happy at her new setting. She has never harmed anyone.. Funny that..!!

I hope that you never experience what you and Merryfields have put us through..!!
I'm sorry, I never realised that I gave birth to a vampire..!! Mrs chingford e4 mum- Blood drawn from their bodies..!! How can a 16 old month toddle possibly scratch and draw blood from / threw clothing and scratch a your 2 year olds back..!! So easy to point the finger isn't it.. How do I know these scratches were not done at home? Besides - why was I never given any incident reports.!! Because when an incident takes place both parties are informed..!! Funny that - I was never informed ..!! Which makes me ask the question where was all the staff? Under ratio perhaps. You think just because you was paying so much money that you was receiving the best of care, Wake up Lady .. What makes you think your above me? I too was paying £1,200 plus per month and for what? My daughter being harmed. & to be bullied by arrogant middle class people, like you..!! Really this is a baby we are taking about not a monster. She has shot soft Nails not blades at the end of her finger tips.. You really are a sad bitty old lady..!! In my eyes Your a bully and no different to The lady that slapped my daughter..!! I'm done with you arrogant people I'm done with Merryfields I have a very rich busy life to lead.. and have no time for you and your petty remarks .. My daughter is very happy at her new setting. She has never harmed anyone.. Funny that..!! I hope that you never experience what you and Merryfields have put us through..!! Mrs Asiroglu
  • Score: -9

9:24am Mon 30 Jun 14

Mrs Asiroglu says...

Furthermore your Universal liked Gary .. Was the one that chose to self report and was coward enough to shut down before being shut down. His the one That left you all hanging, I took my child out long before this happened. if he was such a loving caring man he would have faced the challenge head on.. Instead he shut down..!!
You really think he cared about the welfare of your children?
Your delusional of you think he did ... GUESS WHAT HIS OPENING UP ELSE WHERE..!! Bet he forgot to share that small piece of information with you all.. Gary only cared about the money and his reputation ..!!
Furthermore your Universal liked Gary .. Was the one that chose to self report and was coward enough to shut down before being shut down. His the one That left you all hanging, I took my child out long before this happened. if he was such a loving caring man he would have faced the challenge head on.. Instead he shut down..!! You really think he cared about the welfare of your children? Your delusional of you think he did ... GUESS WHAT HIS OPENING UP ELSE WHERE..!! Bet he forgot to share that small piece of information with you all.. Gary only cared about the money and his reputation ..!! Mrs Asiroglu
  • Score: -12

12:16am Fri 4 Jul 14

Bitter old lady says...

What did this 'news' article actually achieve in the end?
Apart from feeding an ego, negatively impacting adults and children's lives, spreading 'gossip' about a fondly loved setting and breaking up a community.
I'm going to guess a fair percentage of the article was inaccurate, biased or modified for 'story worthiness' like most media articles are these days.
No adult working with children or vulnerable people should ever condone using physical punishment however I do not see the benefits of publicly humiliating an individual who was reportedly dealt with and reprimanded in the appropriate manner.
What did this 'news' article actually achieve in the end? Apart from feeding an ego, negatively impacting adults and children's lives, spreading 'gossip' about a fondly loved setting and breaking up a community. I'm going to guess a fair percentage of the article was inaccurate, biased or modified for 'story worthiness' like most media articles are these days. No adult working with children or vulnerable people should ever condone using physical punishment however I do not see the benefits of publicly humiliating an individual who was reportedly dealt with and reprimanded in the appropriate manner. Bitter old lady
  • Score: 8

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