Children, parents and teachers have joined university staff to protest the proposed closure of a much-loved nursery.

Middlesex University Nursery has been threatened with closure after the university claimed it had been forced to make “difficult decisions” amid a “challenging financial situation”.

Protestors against the plans targeted the university’s graduation ceremony at the Burroughs campus in Hendon on Wednesday (June 28), with a further protest the following day.

On Wednesday, children led a series of chants including – “If you want to save the nursery, clap your hands” – to the tune of ‘if you’re happy and you know it’.

Times Series: Children and parents joined university staff to protest the planned closure (June 28)Children and parents joined university staff to protest the planned closure (June 28) (Image: Save Our Nursery (SON) Middlesex campaign)

It comes after many parents reacted with horror to the news that university bosses were considering shutting down the nursery.

One mum, 28-year-old Chelle Clarke, who is studying at Middlesex University, claimed that without the nursery she would have to consider ending her studies altogether.

She said: “Middlesex University’s nursery has enabled me to commit to studying.

“With the on-campus nursery, it enables people to confidently… study with their young children nearby.

“The nursery is the only reason I decided to attend Middlesex rather than any other university.

“Without it, I would have to consider terminating my studies and place at Middlesex University entirely.”

Chelle called on the university to reconsider the closure plans, claiming the nursery was a “fundamental service”.

Middlesex University Nursery, located in The Burroughs, serves 80 children and their parents, employing 14 members of staff.

The services it provides were rated ‘outstanding’ by education watchdog Ofsted at its last inspection in October 2020.

It is believed that the nursery is currently making a financial loss. But campaigners say this could be rectified if the university built a permanent building in which to house the service, instead of paying a £190,000 annual lease payment to rent the current building.

Commenting on the future of the nursery earlier this week, a Middlesex University spokesperson said: “Middlesex is proud to have provided heavily subsidised childcare through the nursery at our London campus for many years.  

“Due to the current challenging financial situation that is impacting on individuals and businesses throughout the country, we are having to make some very difficult decisions.

“We have explored many options to enable us to keep the nursery open but unfortunately we are now in the process of consulting on the closure of the nursery.”