The consultation document. Pic: Cumbernauld Media.
PROPOSALS by North Lanarkshire Council to “discontinue” nursery provision at Redburn Nursery School, in the Kildrum area of Cumbernauld have been backed by the authority’s Learning and Leisure Services committee.
At a special meeting earlier this month, councillors on the committee packed proposals by the council’s Learning and Leisure department to close Redburn Nursery School, on Kildrum Road and move the service’s provision to Baird Memorial Primary school, in Condorrat – nearly three miles away.
In January 2014, the council’s Learning and Leisure Services committee was given a report which sought permission for a consultation into the plans to be taken forward.
The report argued that, “The nursery class at Redburn School is not a cost effective service. In the current session almost 50% of available places remain unoccupied”, adding: “the demand for primary and secondary provision at Redburn School has increased significantly, resulting in additional pressure on the Service being able to offer appropriate provision to pupils with significant and complex needs in line with the Education Additional Support for Learning (Scotland) Act 2004, amended 2009.”
In a third reason for the proposals going ahead, the report made the case that: “pupils currently attending Redburn School Nursery Class will benefit educationally because they will attend a larger nursery which can offer a wider range of educational opportunities and social interaction, with a wider peer group than is currently the case.”
The agenda went on to argue that the fourth reason behind a proposed closure of the school’s nursery is that, “The nursery class within Baird Memorial Primary School currently caters solely for children with additional support needs and can offer pupils opportunities to integrate with pupils attending the mainstream primary school. The current capacity is 8 FTE.”
In conclusion, the report set out a final case for the plans to be given the go ahead. The document remarked: “The nursery provision at Baird Memorial Primary School is purpose built and occupies a significant floor space which is currently under occupied. Increasing the nursery capacity to accommodate the children from Redburn School Nursery Class, will ensure a more efficient use of the dedicated nursery space.”
Councillors voted on the report at a meeting of the Learning and Leisure Services committee on February 6, when plans for a consultation were backed, and the proposals went out to canvas public opinion.
Since the public consultation on the proposals closed, elected members have been pondering the proposals – until June 3, when a special meeting of the Learning and Leisure Services committee, backed the proposals to shut Redburn Nursery School and move its provision to Baird Memorial, in Avonhead Road.
Voting on the proposals, councillors decided that, “at the end of school session 2013/14 or, at the latest, 10 October 2014, nursery provision at Redburn Nursery School be discontinued”, while backing further proposals which mean that: “at the start of school session 2014/15 or, at the latest, 10 October 2014, the pupils who currently attended Redburn Nursery transfer and enrol at Baird Memorial Primary School Nursery Class, Cumbernauld, and the provision at that Nursery Class be increased by eight FTE places.”
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