Burnley Primary School scraps nursery class as parents seek longer childcare hours

Brunshaw Primary School currently holds a class for three year olds each weekday morning during school terms.

However, earlier this year the headmaster and governors asked Lancashire County Council to consider allowing the school to discontinue crèche in the face of dwindling numbers of children enrolled at the facility.

After a public consultation on the proposal did not generate a single response, the authority’s cabinet has now given the go-ahead for closure at the end of the current academic year.

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Brunshaw Primary School’s age range will increase to 4-11 from September after its crèche closes (Image: Google)

A report presented at a recent cabinet meeting at County Hall revealed that only 10 of the 26 available crèche places at Morse Street School are currently occupied – while only four applications have been received from families wishing their children are present from September. Cabinet Education and Skills MP Jayne Rear said the morning-only offer was “not…suitable for working families”.

“There is a significant surplus [nursery] places in the Burnley area… to mitigate the loss to Brunshaw,” added County Cllr Rear. allow it to “focus more on the students it has and can attract”.

Before the school approached the county council about the proposed change, an informal consultation was held with parents to see if the crèche could be made more popular. However, respondents said they needed a facility that was open before and after school, as well as during school holidays.

As a result, many had already switched to other childcare providers in their city, between which there would be significant competition.

In the meantime, a reflection has been carried out on how the space freed up can now be used “for the good of the school population”, the cabinet members said.

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