Nursery provision update
Regrettably as you will all be aware, the private nursery on site, which has been closed due to COVID-19 since March, will say a fond farewell at the end of this term. This is not a decision anyone had wished for and we will only keep happy memories of their time in our school. Sadly, it was only via our parents that the school learnt the private Nursery had chosen to permanently close and not seek a temporary alternative. The decision to close was a shock and not something we wanted in the interest of the families of our community.
Whilst the delayed building works are being completed we will now begin exploring how we can support our families and their younger children in the long and short term. Recent events and speculation have caused great upset not only for our community, but also for my staff and myself. Throughout this challenging period the focus as it has always been, has solely been on the pupils and families of this community, keeping everyone safe and trying to manage issues beyond our control.
With our school already heavily oversubscribed we were left with no alternative to ensure our school remained compliant and safe.
If there was any way of housing all of our school pupils and allocating sufficient space for the nursery to safely be on this site from September, then we would have done this.
As Head Teacher I along with my governors were left with an impossible decision to make but these are the facts:
- Due to COVID-19 a national and international lockdown has been in place.
- The Schools & Early Years settings remained open only for children of Key Workers, we stayed open and became a ‘Hub’ for children of this school, Far Forest and Cygnets Nursery
- Planned works on the modular build and future internal works were halted.
- The company involved with the modular build went into administration then liquidation.
- As a School we learnt the new classrooms would not be ready by September, therefore we needed to find an alternative plan.
- During the lockdown I have worked tirelessly in partnership with SAET to try and find a solution for everyone.
- Sadly, building works in the area of the existing nursery were delayed and will now take place throughout the Autumn term (originally this was due to start in April & finish by August.)
- For the safety of our pupils and operational reasons the school cannot use alternative public sites to teach classes in September as this would be impractical.
- Even if social distancing rules are relaxed, without using the modular build there would not be the legal space for our school pupils until internal building works are complete.
- The private nursery has only ever rented the large space within the school building with a long standing 4 week notice period, agreed by all trustees.
- At the earliest opportunity we met with the Nursery and alternative options were explored and help offered to the nursery.
- Construction will now need to begin in the area currently occupied by the nursery during the summer holidays.
- With over 60% of our pupils having not been in school since March, it is critical we limit any impact on pupils when they return.
- Applications for this school in 2011 were 13, this year there were 104 applications.
- We have waiting lists for each year group and our priority always has and will be the success of pupils in our community.
- As part of an Academy Trust the school has received capital funding of over £500,000 to improve our school and originally the facilities available to the nursery.
- Moving forward as a Leadership Team with the Governing body we will work with our community to make sure our school continues to provide the best for our children.
- The Early Years Team within the local authority has contacted the school with the offer of support for the future so I can assure our community, the lack of nursery provision in Wolverley will only be a temporary measure.
In addition, we have had several parents already contact us and I have said that we will do everything we can to make sure Before and After School Care is available from September and Nursery provision is on our site as soon as possible.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of this or your own individual family needs, as always I am here to help.