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Westfield nursery at QMUL – closure planned in August

On 28 May 2024, staff and parents of Westfield Nursery at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL, Tower Hamlets, London) were informed that the nursery would be closing in under three months time.

18 members of nursery staff, 100% women, are set to lose their jobs.

Parents are being left to scramble for alternative nursery places in a part of London where waiting lists are often much longer than 3 months. Queen Mary's own students and staff with children at the nursery face huge disruption to their study and working life, even if they can find, and afford, alternative places elsewhere. The children themselves will lose friendships and stability at a critical time in their development.

Parents explain that Queen Mary presented the closure as an inevitability, before a formal consultation has even taken place. The University has already announced the closure on their website, and informed parents on the waiting list that they need to seek alternative provision, making the closure unavoidable and making a mockery of their supposed consulation process.

The planned closure also appears to make a mockery of QMUL's equality and diversity policy, and the pioneering history of Westfield College, after which the on-site nursery is named.

Westfield College was founded in 1882 as the first residential women's college in London, it was one of only four in the UK that opened for women in the second half of the nineteenth century. Westfield College was the first college to aim to educate women for University of London degrees, and originally admitted only women as students, later becoming co-educational.

In 1989, it merged with Queen Mary College and was named Queen Mary & Westfield College until 2013, when the name was legally changed to Queen Mary University of London.


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