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Village playgroup is shutting down

PUBLISHED: 16:23 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:18 03 July 2010

A VILLAGE pre-school playgroup is shutting after more than 30 years - just as government inspectors rated it much improved and commended

staff on “pulling together.

A VILLAGE pre-school playgroup is shutting after more than 30 years - just as government inspectors rated it much improved and commended

staff on “pulling together.”

Ofsted inspectors who visited in May said children arriving at St Margaret's Pre-School Playgroup in Hopton were happy and eager to

play and were warmly greeted.

They said the quality of care and education had risen from inadequate to satisfactory but alluded to “difficulties due to issues arising within the committee.” They added: “However staff have pulled together to create a cohesive staff team while operating under an uncertain

future.”

Throughout the report inspectors have mainly good things to say about the pre-school, saying that children enjoy their sessions, achieve well, proudly show off their pictures and are heartily praised, helping them to become confident and enthusiastic at a young

age.

Children are keen to bring in items from home such as their favourite book which are duly read by staff. They are secure and confident at the playgroup which fosters their sense of achievement and provides a wide range activities from cooking pancakes to exploring changes when sand is mixed with water.

The playgroup was established in 1975 and operates from the village hall four mornings a week - a lively hub for children aged two to five.

Its closure on July 18 will leave a gap in village provision.

Mandy Powell, chairman of the voluntary committee which runs the playgroup, said it was a lovely facility and that she had been encouraged “to step in and keep it going” by her son's happy experience there.

She was unable to comment on the reasons for the closure.

She said that of the 26 children on roll, 20 were going up to reception classes in the primary school and only a handful of new ones were down to join in September. The pre-school employs seven part-time staff, all of whom are qualified or working towards qualifications.

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