Fun House closed by education watchdog Ofsted after they left four year old behind on farm outing (From Andover Advertiser)
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Fun House closed by education watchdog Ofsted after they left four year old behind on farm outing
A CHILDCARE provider whose staff left a four-year-old girl behind on a trip to a farm has been forced to close down by an education watchdog while an investigation is carried out.
As reported in The Gazette, staff from the holiday club at Fun House Limited, in Whitney Road, on Daneshill Industrial Estate, left Jessica Neal at Manydown Farm, in Worting Road, on August 19.
A spokesman for Ofsted has now said the registration for Fun House was suspended on September 25 while the watchdog looks into concerns about children’s safety.
The suspension will last six weeks and will end “as soon as we believe that children are no longer at risk of harm.” Ofsted may then continue to investigate any concerns or take further action.
The education watchdog is able to extend the suspension if it believes the risk of harm to children continues, if it cannot complete its investigation, or remove the risk of harm. The most likely reasons for this are because other agencies, such as the police, are involved and need more time to conduct their own investigations.
As reported, staff at the holiday club only realised that Jessica was missing when her stepfather Craig Tribe arrived to collect her, over an hour after the group had returned from the farm.
Jessica’s mother, Amy Neal, from Shooters Way, South View, said the traumatic incident has left her daughter unable to sleep properly.
The 27-year-old, who works for a Basingstoke finance company, came to The Gazette about the incident after Fun House failed to give her a proper apology or explanation.
She claimed staff had tried to play down the drama, adding: “The amount of time she was left at the farm is irrelevant – one minute is too long for them to have lost my child.”
Cath Mowbray-Williams, owner of Fun House, has previously told The Gazette that members of staff had been disciplined. She was not available to comment following the closure.
Elaine Goldston, whose two grandchildren attended Fun House – which runs a nursery, out-of-school club, breakfast club, holiday club and indoor play centre – said she was told about the closure when collecting them.
The 41-year-old, from Old Basing, said: “All the staff were in tears. It was terrible. To have to tell every parent ‘we can’t open tomorrow’, especially working parents, it must have been a nightmare for them.”
The mother-of-two said she had no concerns regarding the safety of her grandchildren, aged four and three, when attending Fun House, and added: “Every parent must have lost a child. Luckily, no harm came to her (Jessica).”
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