Dalston nursery allegedly expelled toddler following father’s “Dawn of the Evil Dead” slur

Independent Nursery.

Independent Nursery. - Credit: Archant

A furious row has erupted between parents and a nursery after toddlers were expelled late at night for their parents’ alleged behaviour, including swearing and insulting staff.

Prof Richard Burke and Dominic Young had just a few hours’ notice to arrange alternative childcare after getting emails at 11pm from Independent Place Nursery, Dalston, telling them their children were no longer welcome.

But the nursery has defended its actions, saying it had been advised by Ofsted to terminate the children’s placements following “serious breaches of child safeguarding policy by parents”.

Sarah Cunningham-Barrett, manager of the Shacklewell Lane nursery, said the youngsters were turfed out after Prof Burke described another member of staff as “Dawn of the Evil Dead” to a member of staff at a different nursery.

The professor, who read the message at 5am as he was about to get his three-year-old ready, said he was “dismayed and perplexed”, claiming to have had an apology accepted several days earlier.

Meanwhile the daughters of Dominic and Axelle Young were ousted in June after Mrs Young said she was “p***** off” in the nursery’s foyer during an argument over the nursery’s safety policy.

She said the swearword was out of earshot of children, but the nursery said it was advised by watchdog Ofsted that the incident breached safeguarding policy.

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Prof Burke said: “It threw our lives into temporary chaos. It was an extraordinary reaction to an easily resolvable disagreement, without any form of appeal.”

He added: “The disturbing fact is that nursery owners or directors can terminate contracts of care at will without any consequence whatever. It’s a distressing thought.”

Mr Young said: “Expelling children so suddenly and so late at night, effectively with no notice, and on such trumped-up rationale is pretty extreme and seems timed for maximum disruption to parents and children alike. Suddenly being left without childcare is a problem.”

Ms Cunningham-Barrett told the Gazette that she had only ever expelled these two children in the 19 years she had been running nurseries.

She said: “Where there are serious breaches of child safeguarding policy by parents – using mobile phones in the nursery – or abusive language either to staff or about long-standing staff, the nursery would always take legal advice.

“I took advice from Ofsted and the National Day Nurseries Association and on these occasions the nursery was advised that these breaches of safeguarding policy and parent partnership policy should result in the termination of their placement.”