A breakfast and after school club of nearly a decade has shut after reported safeguarding breaches.

Family First, which said it ran its service in Gidea Park Primary School for eight years, was told by the school on January 25 that the club would be closing with immediate effect.

Headteacher Pawan Sharma announced the move in a letter to parents a day prior (January 24), after a decision taken by the full governing body in a meeting that afternoon.

Family First confirmed, in a letter sent to parents on January 25, that the school had invoked a clause which had led to the club’s immediate closure.

"It is with a heavy heart that we bring you the news of the surprising closure," the Family First team wrote.

“The decision to close Family First at Gidea Park was unexpected and disappointing,” it was added.

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But the school's head said wrote that the move was necessary.

"The reason for this is due to serious repeated breaches of safeguarding policies," Mrs Sharma's letter stated.

“Vigilant safeguarding is of paramount importance to the school and we must ensure that pupils’ welfare is protected at all times."

Family First claimed the closure was prompted by two incidents involving the school gate being left open, both times considered a breach of safeguarding principles.

In September 2023, a staff member reportedly opened the gate and stood by to greet parents to “facilitate the smooth pickup of children” as the doorbell was broken, which Family First claimed was deemed a violation.

On January 23 in 2024, the gates were allegedly opened for a food delivery van to access the premises, which Family First said was viewed as another violation.

“We deeply regret the impact this closure must have on your family and are actively seeking alternative premises for the club,” the team said.

Mrs Sharma had stated that the school would install an emergency measure to support parents by opening at 8am until 5pm from January 25 to February 9.

But from today (February 9), parents will have to look elsewhere, a second letter from the school leadership team and governing body dated on January 30, shows.

The school has provided parents with a list of alternative clubs they can use.