City preschool confirms permanent closure

Jamie Osborn on the closure of Magdalen Gates Preschool

Jamie Osborn on the closure of Magdalen Gates Preschool - Credit: GoogleMaps/Jamie Osborn

A city preschool has shut for good saying Covid has had an "adverse impact" on the number of kids attending.

Magdalen Gates Preschool will close permanently after its Christmas party on December 17. 

In a message posted to the NR3 school's website, the trustees said: "The pandemic has had an adverse effect on the number of children on roll as well as our usually healthy waiting list.

"This means that the preschool is no longer viable despite exploring a vast number of options for a solution with our landlord, Norfolk County Council, to stay open."

However it did offer some good news for parents: "The preschool building is ring fenced for early years provision so with a tender process, a new provider will hopefully be found to open next year."

The trustees added: "We are aware that the news of our closure has been shared amongst our local community but the delay of our announcement was purely out of respect for our parents and staff, giving them time to be informed first. 

"We would like to thank our wonderful staff and parents for their ongoing commitment and loyalty during these unprecedented, challenging times and wish them every success in the future."

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The news was greeted with disappointment by ward councillor Jamie Osborn, who said: "This is a real shame. 

"In this area in particular there are a lot of children who might not come from the most privileged backgrounds and it should be a priority to get them the best start in life as possible, as this preschool would have done."

The Mancroft councillor added: "It's especially disappointing that this school has closed at a time when so many children might need the extra support coming out of the pandemic - all children having a right to access this education.

"It should be a priority to get a new provider in there as soon as possible as I'm sure there will be a lot of parents in the local area who will be wondering what to do now."

Norfolk County Council’s assistant director, learning and achievement, John Crowley, said: “We are continuing to work with all providers to secure sufficient childcare provision for all that require it when the provision at Magdalen Gates Preschool closes.”