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Proposal to amend the council's Nursery Education Policy

 

This consultation is now closed

Don’t forget you can still have your say on improving council services by clicking here to join our citizens’ panel

 

Consultation Documents

Please click here for the final consultation report.

Context

As the council seeks to save a total of £36m by 2017-2018, its budget report includes outline proposals for how the authority intends to make future savings and carry out further consultation in forthcoming financial years. 

The purpose of this consultation

This consultation is to invite your views on the proposals to amend the council’s Nursery Education Policy, in order to contribute towards the savings required in the Schools and Early Years budgets.  Your responses and opinions will assist the council to make their decision about how best to make savings in this area.

This consultation process will run from 13 January 2014 to 24 February 2014

Current arrangements

Our legal duty is to provide all children with 10 hours of nursery education per week from the term following their 3rd birthday.  We try to ensure this provision is available at school nurseries or privately run playgroup/day care nurseries that are Estyn Registered (i.e. registered with the education and training inspectorate for Wales).

In Bridgend we currently offer above the legal minimum. Bridgend County Borough Council currently offer a more generous provision of up to full-time placements depending on the child’s age. 

It is not compulsory for children to start school until the term following their 5th birthday.  Therefore, attendance between the age of 3 to the term following the child’s 5th birthday is optional to parents (Section 8 of the Education Act 1996). 

Academic Year

Year

Age During Academic Year

Nursery 1

3

Nursery 2

4

Reception

5

Year 1

6

Year 2

7

Proposed amendments

For full details of the proposals see Cabinet report and associated documents which outline the advantages and disadvantages of each option: http://www.bridgend.gov.uk/web/groups/public/documents/agenda/110079.hcsp (Item 24)

The following four options have been identified for consideration:

Option

Amendments

This means

Option1:

 

Make no change to current policy and maintain enhanced provision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enhanced provision available for all.

 

  • Children receive 10 hours of education from the term after their third birthday. 
  • Parents have the choice to send their child to a privately run playgroup/day care nursery to receive 10 hours of education or to a school (Nursery Year 1). 
  • The September before the child’s 4th birthday, parents have the choice to continue with 10 hours of education in a privately run playgroup/day care nursery or accept a full-time nursery provision at a school (Nursery Year 2).
  • This option would continue to cost the Local Authority £1.5million on an annual basis and the savings would have to be made from elsewhere within the children’s directorate budget, which would impact on the budgets for school improvement, the youth service and additional learning needs. 

 

Option 2a:

 

Reduce early years nursery provision to the statutory minimum of part-time provision for both Nursery Year 1 and Nursery Year 2 and;

 

  • · Remove parental choice of school nurseries or privately run playgroup/day care nurseries that are Estyn Registered (i.e. registered with the education and training inspectorate for Wales).

 

 

  • From the term after their third birthday children will receive a part-time place in a school nursery only (Nursery Year One and Nursery Year Two).

 

  • This would save the authority £1.5 million.

 

 

 

 

 

Option 2b:

 

Reduce early years nursery provision to statutory minimum of part-time provision for both Nursery Year 1 and Nursery Year 2 and:

 

  • · Remove parental choice of maintained versus non-maintained settings and;

 

  • · Establish a charging policy for parents who wish to pay for extra hours of provision beyond the legal 10 hours.

 

 

  • From the term after their third birthday children will receive a part-time place in a school nursery only (Nursery Year One and Nursery Year Two).
  • Parents who require more than 10 hours of education would need to pay a fee to the school.
  • This would save the authority £1.5 million.

 

Option 3:

  • Reduce early years nursery provision to the statutory minimum of part-time provision for both Nursery Year 1 and Nursery Year 2 and;

 

  • · Remove parental choice of maintained versus non-maintained settings and;
    • Vulnerable groups will continue to receive the enhanced provision.

 

(NB: Children who are deemed to be vulnerable are Children with Additional Learning Needs; Children in need; Children at risk; Children on the Child Protection Register; Children entitled to Free School Meals; Looked after children in education; Children for whom English is not their first language; and Traveller children)

 

 

 

 

 

  • From the term after their third birthday children will receive a part-time place in a school nursery only (Nursery Year One and Nursery Year Two).
  • Parents who require more than 10 hours of education would need to pay a fee to the school.
  • This would save the authority £1.5 million.
    • Children who are deemed to be vulnerable would receive additional hours in the school.
    • This would save the authority £1 million.
  • This will ensure that the council supports our most vulnerable families who need extra help

Option 4:

Make no change to current policy and maintain enhanced provision by using funding from school budgets to pay for the enhanced provision.

 

 

  • Children receive 10 hours of education from the term after their third birthday. 
  • Parents have the choice to send their child to a privately run playgroup/day care nursery to receive 10 hours of education or to a school (Nursery Year 1). 
  • The September before the child’s 4th birthday, parents have the choice to continue with 10 hours of education in a privately run playgroup/day care nursery or accept a full-time nursery provision at a school (Nursery Year 2).
  • The money to pay for the extra provision will be taken from Primary school and  Secondary school budgets This would mean that schools have less money to use to pay for other services.

 

How do you make your views known?

The council welcomes your views on the proposals and an online questionnaire is available here

A paper version of the questionnaire can be made available on request, please contact Ellen Franks 01656 642617 or email childrenandyoungpeople@bridgend.gov.uk

Consultation process

The consultation period will be from 13 January to 24 February 2014.

  • Email alerts and leaflets will be sent to providers notifying them of the consultation.
  • Providers will inform parents/interested parties about the consultation and where to find details and how to respond to the questionnaire.
  • A number of focus groups have been planned with key stakeholders:
  1. Private nursery providers
  2. School nursery providers
  3. Headteachers for all schools in Bridgend
  4. Governing Bodies (parent representative groups)

A report of findings will be submitted to Cabinet in advance of their meeting on 1 April.

Following the Cabinet meeting this report will be publicly available and the outcome of Cabinet’s decision will be published on the Bridgend County Borough Council’s website via www.bridgend.gov.uk

 

 

This consultation is now closed

Last Updated: 15/06/2016
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