Governor furious as Cwmbran nursery set to close
3:05pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in News
THE head of governors at a nursery in Cwmbran which will be closed by Torfaen council next year has said they are a “victim of our own success.”
An emotional Susan Tamplin said Torfaen’s decision to close Two Locks nursery, which the Welsh Government ratified last week, was “all about saving money not about what is best for our youngsters.”
Two Locks is now set to close at the end of this school year, with the nursery becoming part of Nant Celyn primary and being housed at the Integrated Children’s Centre (ICC) from September 2014.
“The proposal to close the nursery forms the first step of a £257million 21st Century Schools programme which aims to tackle surplus places and deliver a mixture of new, extended and refurbished schools across Torfaen,” a council spokesman said of the decision.
But Mrs Tamplin said it was “It is a sad day for good quality, ‘value for money’ Early years Education in Torfaen.”
“We strongly contest the recommendations that the building is not fit for purpose and that the proposed nursery setting in the ICC is a ‘like for like option’. There is only 1 classroom which will only be able to accommodate 52 children. Their outdoor space is shared and is not stimulating or age appropriate,” Mrs Tamplin said.
“The ICC nursery will be under the Governance of Nant Celyn Primary school, Governors and Headmistress. They have not guaranteed any jobs for Two Locks Nursery staff.
“The real reason for this closure is the fact that there are so many surplus places in other nurseries in the area some with more surplus places than Two Locks and with not such a good reputation as ourselves. We are victims of our own success.
“The closure is all about saving money not about what is best for our youngsters. At a time when many children are falling behind in their Literacy and Numeracy skills and many life skills this decision is particularly hard for all concerned to accept.”
In a written response to Torfaen’s acting head of education services Dermot McChrystal, Steve Vincent, the Welsh Government’s deputy director for the schools management and effectiveness division said: “The deputy minister [for skills and technology, Ken Skates AM] is satisfied that the closure of Two Locks and the extension of the age range of Nant Celyn should be approved because they will remove surplus capacity in the nursery sector, remove an ageing building which would otherwise require significant investment to bring it up to a reasonable standard.”
He said the closure would also help to integrate nursery and primary education, providing continuity across the foundation phase of education in Torfaen while maintaining access to nursery places who require them.”
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