Girl, 2, 'assaulted by nursery school manager'

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Image caption,
A former member of staff complained to Ofsted about the two-year-old girl being "assaulted"

A nursery school has been temporarily shut down following allegations that children were mistreated - including one child being "assaulted".

Ofsted received a complaint that the manager "dragged" a two-year-old girl across the floor, "swung" her around then "aggressively forced her to sit down on the floor".

The facility in Leicestershire has been shut until at least 23 August while Ofsted investigates.

The manager denies the allegations.

The BBC is not naming her or the nursery school for legal reasons, as it may identify the children.

Details of the allegations have only emerged now because the manager unsuccessfully appealed against the suspension to the Care Standards Tribunal.

In her decision, tribunal judge Melanie Lewis said the manager was accused of "rough handling of children such as dragging, grabbing, yanking, pulling, swinging by the arm and forcibly sitting them down, and pushing a child, causing injury, and purposefully not assisting a child who fell from a chair".

The nursery school has about 30 children on its roll and was rated as "good" - the second highest rating - following its most recent Ofsted inspection in November 2015.

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Image caption,
The nursery was rated as good following its most recent Ofsted inspection

The referral about the two-year-old girl being "assaulted" was made to Ofsted in June by a former member of staff.

The employee had left due to the manager's "attitude and behaviour and aggression towards the children", the tribunal judge said.

"She gave a number of examples and said this was not an occasional occurrence," the tribunal judge added.

An inspector visited the nursery school on 13 July and suspended the school's registration on the same day.

The tribunal judge refused to lift the suspension, saying: "We identify and agree with the initial judgement by Ofsted that there are grounds for thinking that there may be a risk to children of inappropriate physical handling."

The suspension expires on 23 August, but this can be extended if the investigation lasts beyond then.

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