Have your say on nursery plans

MBCH-25-03-14- Valerie Ellar retiring  The Lawns Nursery School & Childrens Centre.'b14-166''Headteacher Valerie Ellar is leaving the school after many years. PNL-140325-172042001
MBCH-25-03-14- Valerie Ellar retiring The Lawns Nursery School & Childrens Centre.'b14-166''Headteacher Valerie Ellar is leaving the school after many years. PNL-140325-172042001

It could be all change for two nursery schools in Chronicle Country.

Central Beds Council is consulting on changes for Arlesey Nursery school in Arlesey and the Lawns Nursery school in Biggleswade.

The proposals would see Arlesey merging with Gothic Mede Academy. It has been supported by Gothic Mede since 2013 and the proposed merger would guarantee its future as well as helping to increase childcare provision in Arlesey, says the council.

As part of the process, parents, carers and residents will be able to attend a public consultation meeting which will be held at Gothic Mede on Tuesday September 15 at 7pm.

If the merger is approved it will be implemented through the legal closure of Arlesey Nursery and the expansion of Gothic Mede Academy, which is a member of Bedfordshire East Multi Academy Trust already educating local children and providing wraparound care for children aged two to nine.

Biggleswade Academy, which already offers wraparound childcare for children aged two to 13, has been supporting the Lawns for the past year. The merger has been proposed to guarantee the nursery can continue in its existing location.

As part of this process, parents, carers and residents will be able to attend a public consultation meeting which will be held at The Hub, Ivel Valley School, The Baulk, on Thursday September 24 at 7pm.

A consultation is being launched today (September 7) and will run for four weeks until October 5.

That was after approval was granted by the council’s Executive on July 7, with the decision taken to wait until after the school holidays to seek people’s views.

All responses will then be taken into consideration when a final decision is taken at a meeting of Executive on 1 December.

Councillor Mark Versallion, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “The partnership between the nurseries and the academies has sustained the nursery’s viability to date and a formal merger is the natural progression to guarantee this continues and to build on that success in the context of a challenging financial climate.

“It is important to seek public feedback on the plans, though, and I would urge as many people as possible to have their say on the consultation process.

“I understand people have raised concerns around the ‘closure’ of the nursery school if the merger is approved. However, this is just a formality as part of the process and all it means is that the day after Arlesey Nursery School ‘closes’, the expanded Gothic Mede Academy reopens.

“Equally, the existing nursery buildings will continue to be used as they are today, and this is just a change in governance, leadership and management.”

>To have your say on the proposals, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations