Nursery school for vulnerable children faces closure
ACASH crisis sweeping Merseyside’s education provision means a school attended by some of the region’s most vulnerable pupils is to close at the end of the academic year.
A statutory notice for the closure of Sand Dunes Nursery School, in Seaforth, is currently being published by Sefton Council.
Sand Dunes is said to be attended by “some of the most vulnerable” children in the region.
The school, which was established in the 1940s, currently looks after around 70 pupils, aged two-five.
The majority of children who attend are vulnerable and have external involvement either from Social Care or SENIS (Sefton council’s team to support children with special educational needs).
Sefton Council and the school explored every available option before Sand Dunes formally proposed the closure.
A public consultation, which was originally planned for eight weeks, was extended to a period of nine weeks to allow enough time for people to submit their comments and ran from July to October.
Meetings were also held with staff, governors, and parents/carers of pupils at the school.
A recent meeting of Sefton Council’s cabinet considered a report on the outcome of the consultation process. There was a huge amount of support for Sand Dunes, but no viable options to address the financial shortfall.
Cabinet members say they will continue exploring alternatives with the school and to report on this and any representations received to the closure notice in the New Year.
Sefton Council’s cabinet member for children, schools and safeguarding, Cllr John Joseph Kelly, said: “Sand Dunes Nursery has been a crucial part of the community for many years.
“This has been demonstrated with an online petition which has had more than 900 signatures.
“I understand that this is a difficult time for all those involved and want to thank everyone who took the time to tell us how they felt through the consultation.
“It is extremely regrettable that the governors at Sand Dunes Nursery school have had no alternative but to request a formal consultation to close, because it is no longer financially viable.”
Earlier this year, schools across the borough sent letters to parents, imploring them to write to Prime Minister Theresa May asking her to stop cutting education funding.
Axe poised – Sand Dunes nursery, Seaforth