Sunday, 14 August 2022

Nursery class to open at primary

A NURSERY class will be opened at Benson Primary School in September.

A NURSERY class will be opened at Benson Primary School in September.

The move follows the closure of the village pre-school, although the school insists that isn’t the reason for the move.

Headteacher Helen Crolla said: “The reason the school is putting in a nursery class is because we believe it is the very best for the school, for the students and for children in the local area.

“We believe it will enable us to achieve better standards with our children and enhance our school.”

Mrs Crolla said the class could accommodate up to 26 three- and four-year-olds and she was recruiting staff.

Parents of nursery age children are eligible for 15 hours’ free care from the Government and the school will be offering additional paid sessions.

Mrs Crolla said: “We’re very excited as a school community and we’re looking forward to offering that provision. This is a programme for the school that has been considered carefully. It’s a separate process to the events happening at Benson Pre-School.”

The pre-school, which operates from the youth hall in Oxford Road, announced last month that it would close in July because of a lack of children. Up to six staff, including the manager, deputy manager and four assistants, will go.

A statement from the committee said the decision was taken with “much sadness and regret” but the situation had become “untenable” due to the low numbers on the roll, which made the pre-school “financially unsustainable”.

The nursery lost £5,700 last year and was forecast to lose more than £15,000 this year with only three or four children due to continue in September.

Benson Parish Council chairman Jon Fowler said: “It’s a shame that a facility that provides such an important first step in a child’s education will be lost to the village.”

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