Nursery boss fined over missed school

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A PRESTON nursery owner who turned to fraud after a damning Ofsted inspection has been before the court again – for failing to ensure her own child was properly educated.

Tracy Park, 47, of Park View Road, Lytham St Annes, who used to run Lollipops Day Nursery in Mayfield Avenue, Ingol, Preston, was ordered to pay a total of £706 in fines and costs after she was found guilty by Blackpool magistrates of failing to ensure her 15-year-daughter attended high school regularly.

The court heard her attendance was down to 85 per cent when the national required standard is 95 percent.

The unauthorised absences included a period when the girl was sent home from school for having long false nails against school rules.

She remained off until her mother could get her a beautician’s appointment to remove the nails.

Park had received warning letters and did not pay a fixed penalty notice.

Head of pastoral care at Lytham St Annes High School Rebecca Johnston told the court information had been received that the schoolgirl had been attending music festivals and clubs.

Park, who defended herself, said her daughter had been diagnosed with problems which were now being medicated.

She said: “I have been trying to motivate her. She is a very bright girl and wants to be a solicitor.

“I have been in continual touch with the school about my daughter.”

Park told the court she would be appealing the magistrates’ decision.

In May, she received a 15 month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and a £2,500 compensation order at Preston Crown Court after she admitted possessing an article for use in a fraud, and fraud by false representation by using the nursery’s credit card to the tune of £7,487 to pay for holidays and other luxuries.

She had set up the nursery in 2003. Ten years later, in 2013, a new business called Lollipops Kids Education Ltd was set up to run the nursery, and the childcare centre was re-registered with her silent business partner Ian Birkby, who also owned the building.

Unknown to him, Park was splashing out on holidays and haircuts on the company credit card, for which he paid the bills.

The business was struggling to make any money and the same year it was told it needed to improve during an Ofsted inspection, which said the provision was not giving children a good standard of early years education.

Lollipops Kids Ltd is now listed as a dissolved company.