Mystery over sudden closure of popular pre-school

The opening of Seaview Pre-School's new playground in 2018. The school in Cromer has been shut until September. Picture: PJ Photography

The opening of Seaview Pre-School's new playground in 2018. The school in Cromer has been shut until September. Picture: PJ Photography

PJ Photography

Families in north Norfolk have been left in the lurch after a popular pre-school closed without warning.

Seaview Pre-School in North Lodge Park, Cromer, shut earlier this month and is set to be closed until September.

A parent whose child attends the pre-school said there had been two recent short closures – one which was attributed to a lack of staff and another related to damage to the pre-school’s roof.

The closures were followed by an announcement that the school would close this month until the new academic year.

The parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said the pre-school had recently taken on “an awful lot of children”.

“It is heartbreaking. My child is due to start school in September and they will now not have any preparation for school in the build-up. It is a bit frustrating.”

Seaview Pre-school declined to comment on the closure.

Following an inspection in November 2014, the pre-school was rated “inadequate” due to concerns over pupils’ behaviour and learning and staff recruitment procedures and had three further inspections in the following 12 months.

The last time it was inspected in October 2015 its ranking was raised to “good”, with the inspector saying staff had worked exceptionally hard to make required improvements and had created a “calm, stimulating and welcoming environment”.

At that time the school had 37 children aged two to four on its role, according to Ofsted.

Confirming the closure, an Ofsted spokesman said: “We have been provided with information about the setting, but it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Seaview Pre-school, a charity-run early years provider, has been operating at North Lodge Park since 1973. It is run by a voluntary committee of parents, carers and supporters of the school, a requirement for its charity status, as well as employing staff.

Norfolk County Council said it would support parents to find alternative provision. The nearest pre-school is at Suffield Park Infant and Nursery on Mill Road.

Seaview is the second Norfolk pre-school to announce closure in a week, after School Lane Pre-School in Sprowston shut its doors on March 8.

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