Agenda item - Hertford Infant & Nursery School - Formal Consultation on Closure of Nursery Class

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Agenda item

Hertford Infant & Nursery School - Formal Consultation on Closure of Nursery Class

Report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning (copy to follow)

 

 

 

Decision:

RESOLVED – That the Committee agreed to move to the formal representation period and publication of statutory notices to raise the school’s lower age range from three to four years with the formal closure of the nursery class from 1st September 2021.

 

Minutes:

32.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning regarding the closure of Hertford Infant and Nursery School nursery class and a change to the school’s lower age range from three to four years. The report was introduced by the Childcare Strategy Manager and was accompanied by the Chair of Governors of Hertford Infant School.

 

32.2    Councillor Grimshaw noted that the Hertford Nursery School offered the weekly 15 hours of free childcare without the requirement to purchase additional sessions and asked if other local providers offered the same option. The Childcare Strategy Manager said that two local nurseries Cherry Tree Nursery and St Joseph’s Nursery both offered the option to only attend for the 15 hours of free childcare.

 

32.3    Councillor Grimshaw asked how the consultation had been advertised as she was concerned that people weren’t aware that it was taking place. The Childcare Strategy Manager advised that it was through the school and the Council’s website, and meetings with parents had been held at the school to discuss the proposals. 

 

32.4    Councillor Nield noted that due to the current pandemic it wasn’t known if other nursery providers would be forced to close and asked whether it would be possible to re-open Hertford Nursery in the future if it was needed. The Childcare Strategy Manager said it could and the current process would be undertaken but in reverse.

 

32.5    Councillor McNair asked if closing Hertford Nursery would benefit the other nearby nursery schools. The Childcare Strategy Manager said that it might, but parents didn’t always choose a nursery close to their home, as other issues such as place of work or location of other family members impacted on their choice.

 

32.6    Councillor Hills noted that the Statutory Notice would be advertised in the Brighton & Hove Independent newspaper but understood that the paper was not currently being published and was concerned that people would not be aware of the matter and therefore not take part in the consultation. The Childcare Strategy Manager said that she would check the newspaper and added that there would be a further four weeks of the consultation and therefore still time for people to respond.

 

32.7    Councillor Simson said that many children would apply for a place at the primary school where they had attended a nursery school, and asked if the possible knock-on impact to applications for the school had been considered. The Chair of Governors at the school said that it had been considered, but children currently at the primary school had attended many different nursery schools and so it was not felt that closing the nursery would impact on applications to the school. The Childcare Strategy Manager noted that places at the school were allocated in line with the published admission criteria and no priority was given to children who attended a nursery attached to a school.

 

 

32.8    RESOLVED – That the Committee agreed to move to the formal representation period and publication of statutory notices to raise the school’s lower age range from three to four years with the formal closure of the nursery class from 1st September 2021.

 

Supporting documents:

 


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