Parents with children in schools in Stoke-on-Trent are receiving letters telling them that the future of Stoke-on-Trent City Council's School Nurseries are facing the threat of reduced hours.
Stoke-on-Trent are considering saving £1.7 million a year from it's £11.5 children's services budget by slashing the hours a child who goes to a school nursery by half.
In the letter sent we were informed:
"You may be aware that the City Council are currently considering how they are to provide education for 2,3 and 4 year olds in the future. Stoke-on-Trent has traditionally provided a full time Nursery place for 3 year olds, however this may change for September 2013. The interim Director for Children's Services Eleanor Brazil has written to all Schools and Private, Independent and Voluntary providers to inferior them that there will be a consultation , to ask key stakeholders, for their views on how best to reshape provision in the future.
The header master then states:
I believe that as a parent it is vital that you are informed and involved in this consultation. The Local Authority is considering a number of options. A consequence of this could be that a large majority of children in Nursery may get part time provision e.g.. morning or afternoon instead of the full day now received.
The City Council are meeting to discuss this on the 7th December. Your opinions are important as it will affect your child's future.
As a parent of children who have recently been through the Nursery system and going through the Nursery system all I can do is praise what Stoke-on-Trent Schools have built up and put into place.
Lots of our cities 3-4 year olds enter without a great deal of knowledge or educational ability and come away at the end of the year enriched and empowered by the learning they've aquired, largely through play.
It's here that they start their numbers, they start to learn to read, to paint, to interact, to communicate. Hell, some poor sods enter Nursery life not being able to go the toilet by them selves or hold a knife and fork.
Our school run Nurseries aren't just a baby sitting service, they are a crucial and vital part of the whole education experience and to damage that experience at such an early age in unjustifiable.
The Council wanted to slash and burn the children centres, to which they did to a certain degree. Now they want to damage all of the progress that's going on in the cities schools with these younglings.
Our City already has below average standards in our schools, and this will only drag them down further.
As well as the loss of vital initial education to our kids, those wanting their children to go full time will face further burdens, burdens they can ill afford.
The impact on workers has yet to be discussed as well. Lots of working parents already find it hard to deliver their children to school during working hours, but to have to break the working day up further makes the pressures of employees and employers even greater.
Write to your council, write to your councillor, write to your MP.
This is wrong, and will further push the people of Stoke-on-Trent down the ladder.
Don't let another consultation turn into a done deal.
Parent's with children just coming up to the school system this also applies to you to.