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Stoke-on-Trent City Council set to undermine the future potential of children as they hope to slash School Nursery times

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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.



Rach's picture

Hope you have filled in your

Hope you have filled in your return to school, just done ours tonight, however must say is going back on a side of A4 though!



Web Monkey's picture

Sure have. Are you writing to

Sure have. Are you writing to your councilor and Mp as well to ask them to do the right thing?

There are going to be a lot of parents out there who aren't going to catch wind of this until it's to late. Can you help to spread the word and press the Facebook likes, tweets and so on.

marks's picture

Stoke was one of the few

Stoke was one of the few cities to have free pre-school for 30 hours per week.

My 4 year old has just this year started primary school having gone to pre-school in Cheshire (Alsager) for 1 year only having 15 hours free (actually 2 days). She seems to have adjusted well in primary school reception class, having only being at pre-school for 2 days per week perviously. It seems most of what they do in reception class is still play.

So I'm not sure of the adverse impact on education from my experience.

However, Child care fee's are crazy money. I'm currently paying £38 per day for my 1 year old. I understand, if eligable,  you get some child / tax credit towards nursery and pre-school fee's. No wonder people say they can't afford to go back to work after having kids, 'cos the child care fee's are higher than many folks wages...


RedGirl's picture

I expect by the time my

I expect by the time my little one should become eligible for all of this, it will no longer be available. The idea behind the free pre-school care was to encourage mothers to go back to work and start earning, which would put more money back into the tax and national insurance pots, and create more jobs for nursery and associated caring providers. But from what I can see, there are not many employers out there in the UK offering flexible working, job-sharing, part-time jobs or basically anything that assists parents in getting work-life-money balance. Such a shame really, and I work for an employer who still thinks that jobs should be full-time, 9-5 in the main.

And marks, I know where you're coming from about childcare costs. My husband and I worked out that both of us working full time and putting our little one in full time nursery care would leave us with only around £400 extra income every month. Perhaps not to be sniffed at, but then we'd both lose out seeing our child because all of us were full-time doing something. It didn't make any sense either when we worked out that becoming a one wage household would only leave us £200 a month short. So, hubby chucked in his full time job, looks after our child during the day and then goes out to clean the new super-dooper hospital complex for a few hours a night and brings home around £450 a month. A win win, apart from the fact that he's always shattered. And now hubby is considering registering to become a childminder so that he can work during the day and look after a small number of children including our own.

Councils and government certainly don't make life easy for those who want to work and provide in order to have a comfortable lifestyle.

Richard's picture

We have started a petition at

We have started a petition at Goldenhill Primary school and believe many other scholls have similar petitions.  All these petitions need to be colated and put to the council as a document showing how many people believe that this is not a service which should be cut.

The council seem to believe that by putting Millissa Beydilli on the review panel people will think that this will make people believe the review will be transparent.  I believe that Millissa Beydilli is on the panel to keep the children's centres open at the cost of the valuable nursery school places.

We all need to get behind this fight and stop this council cutting this service using it's closed door tactics.

Is there anyone willing to go around door to door with petitions around their local neighbourhood?

Richard's picture

Given the number of responses

Given the number of responses to this particular subject, the council has yet again won.  All those non-working parents have also won, by placing the lady from the children's centres debate on the board anyone who works full time will have to refuse a place at any on Stoke-on-Trents primary school nursery classes and send their children to private day nurseries...

All I have to say is the Labour party is living up to it's normal ways in helping people to remain out of work as they cannot afford to go to work...  A party for the working person, I don't think so....

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