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Pre-school reacts to 'attack' claim

A pre-school has hit out at reports of an attack involving two of its pupils and said it always follows safety procedures rigorously.

Three-year-old Katie Ann Guttridge was injured when another girl, aged two, was said to have attacked her at Ratby Pre-School Nursery in Church Lane in Ratby, Leicester, earlier this month.

The nursery, which is run by a committee of parent volunteers, confirmed it had reported an incident which took place on December 13 to Ofsted and that the education watchdog is now investigating.

In a statement, the nursery said it took any allegations of unsafe practice "very seriously" and that it had contacted Ofsted, the local authority and followed internal procedures following the incident.

But it said staff and parents who used the pre-school disputed reports of the circumstances of the incident which had been reported in the media, as well as allegations about previous incidents involving a particular child. Staff had been left "very upset" by these reports, it said. It added that it was grateful to those parents who had shown their support in recent days.

The reports come after an Ofsted inspection praised the nursery's performance in November. In a report dated November 29 2011, Ofsted rated the quality of its early years and childcare provision as "good", including child protection.

In a statement, Ratby Pre-School said: "All early years and childcare settings take any allegation of unsafe practice very seriously, and we are no exception. In this particular case, we have followed safety procedures rigorously.

"We contacted Ofsted and the local authority to report the incident as soon as it happened on December 13, then following internal procedures. Ofsted undertook an investigative visit to our pre-school on December 19 and we await its report findings."

A spokesman for Ofsted confirmed it had launched an investigation into whether the provider was meeting the "legal requirements of registration" following an incident.

Leicestershire Police also confirmed it had received reports of the incident from the three-year-old's parents and had advised them to contact their local authority and Ofsted.

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