NORTH Ayrshire Council has moved to reassure parents after it was claimed the local authority had "failed children's safety" by allowing a nursery employee who was warned over her behaviour to continue working with kids.

The Times reported earlier this month that experienced early years practitioner Violet Paterson has been struck off by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) for misconduct at St John Ogilvie Primary.

READ MORE: St John Ogilvie early years worker struck off by SSSC for misconduct

An SSSC fitness to practise hearing found that Ms Paterson put her hands around a six-year-old girl's lower arms, pushed the child against a wall and shouted at her last October at the Bourtreehill school and early years class.

The incident followed similar episodes of misconduct in 2019, at a different workplace in Irvine, for which Ms Paterson had a two-year warning placed on her registration with the industry watchdog.

READ MOREViolet Paterson: Irvine nursery worker given two year warning

According to a report on those two incidents, which occurred at St Mark's Primary School nursery class, the worker held one child by the arm and shouted in their face in response to them hitting her on the arm.

She also grabbed another child's wrist, pulling them in close to her, grabbed their face and shouted "you have to listen", or words to that effect.

The SSSC stated that the fact that the first two incidents took place on separate dates meant they were "indicative of a pattern of behaviour".

However, just three months after being warned over her conduct, Ms Paterson put another young child "at risk of physical harm".

After the Times published news of the SSSC's removal order, which came into effect on March 4, several people questioned how the nursery worker was able to carry out further misbehaviour.

One person said on social media: "There has surely been a major error here on the part of NAC and whoever was in charge of both locations at the time.

"It does look as though they've tried to keep it in house by simply moving the problem to a sister school. That's wrong!"

Another person branded the situation a "massive failure for children's safety", stating: "Experience is not an exception."

Ms Paterson had been employed in the social services sector for 22 years at the time of the most recent incident, and the SSSC said she "should have known that to act in such a manner was wholly inappropriate".

Her behaviour was considered "at its highest" as "abusive and raises significant attitudinal and values issues", with the regulator stating that her actions demonstrated "a complete loss of self-control in response to the child displaying challenging behaviour".

The report added: "Your behaviour caused the child to suffer emotional harm and put her at risk of physical harm.

"As a result of your actions, the child may be fearful to engage or interact with other staff members in the future."

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson confirmed that Ms Paterson is no longer employed by the local authority.

They told the Times: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, we can reassure parents that our pupils’ safety is absolutely paramount.

“Although any complaints we receive are rare, we have robust procedures in place to investigate every case rigorously and take action when required, working fully in partnership with the Scottish Social Services Council."