Plans for school to provide 'much needed' nursery places in Worksop
Councillors have approved the lease of a building in Worksop to a local school which will now be used as an early years nursery unit.
Nottinghamshire County Council backed the lease of the building to Haggonfields Primary School, Rhodesia, at a policy committee meeting on Wednesday (March 17).
It means that children living neavy can receive nursery education from the age of three in a purpose-built nursery building.
Now that the move has been agreed, the school’s Trust will manage the property.
The building, which is on the same site as the school, had previously been used as a children’s centre- but there were very few children attending and the building largely remained unused, providing just one two-hour session a week due to low demand.
Councillor Philip Owen, chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to support the school so that we can make better use of this building. Instead of letting the building remain largely empty and unused, we have helped Haggonfields Primary to provide a much-needed service for local families and for the good of young children in the area.
“This will not mean that we reduce the service on offer, just that it is delivered in a more direct way. It will mean that this building will soon be full of children playing and learning, not sitting empty and silent.”
“Although I understand some people may have concerns about the change of use to any property which has the words ‘children’s centre services’ attached to it, this is about making the best use of the property.
“This absolutely isn’t a budget-driven decision. By finding a better use for this under-used building we can save funds, help to protect vital services, and see a community benefit from what it actually needs.”
A consultation into the future of the building, carried out earlier this year, showed support for the change, with everyone who completed it - all local parents - supporting the proposal.
The children’s centre service will continue, but will be delivered in families’ homes, rather than relying on parents going into the building. Parents will continue to be supported by children’s centre staff.