Hetton nursery staff determined to fight council’s closure plan

Sunderland City Council have made a proposal to close a nursery school in Hetton but staff have said they will fight the plans

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 7:00 am
Sunderland City Council have proposed to close Hetton-Le-Hole Nursery School.

Staff at Hetton-Le-Hole Nursery School in Sunderland are fighting the proposal by Sunderland Council to shut the nursery down.

The nursery, which was graded outstanding in the most recent Ofsted inspection, said staff are ‘extremely disappointed’ by the council’s closure plan which is set to go before the cabinet on November 17.

Ruth Williamson head teacher at Hetton-Le-Hole Nursery School said: “Historically the nursery has experienced reductions in funding, as have all early year’s provision across the city.

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“Despite these challenges we have maintained our provision to the highest of standards as recognised in our most recent Ofsted inspection and as the only nursery provision in Hetton-le-Hole with an outstanding grading.

"It is extremely disappointing that the Council is making this proposal during a global pandemic when everyone’s focus should be on providing a safe education to our children and supporting our local families.”

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The nursery, which offers places to children aged 0 to 5-years-old is funded by the council.

Sunderland council have stated that ‘a new provision’, which will offer early years places, is proposed to be established at the new Hetton Primary School building to ensure there are no shortages.

Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills, Councillor Louise Farthing said: “We have a Cabinet meeting due on Tuesday where we are looking to begin consultation about this nursery.

“What is important to note is that with a new Hetton Primary School being built there will be no loss of places.

“These places will all be at one site, they will be closer and more accessible for many more families.”

According to a cabinet report, “the total distance that those families would be required to travel to access a place at the proposed new Hetton Primary School Early Years Provision is 0.6 miles.”

The nursery spokesperson added: “Of course, we are determined to fight this proposal to preserve the future of our outstanding school and we urge parents and our local community to respond to the consultation which runs from November 2020 to January 2021.”

The proposal is due to be be submitted to cabinet on Tuesday, November 17.

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