Schools may step in to save nursery sites from closing

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Potential closure of seven nurseries with the loss of 102 jobs has been defended by Sheffield Council – which is negotiating with schools to take over the affected sites.

The authority has blamed Government cuts and said it is consulting with staff and trade unions.

Bankwood in Gleadless, Broomhall, Burngreave, Greenhill’s Chancet Wood, Firth Park, Primrose in Walkley, and Valley Park in Herdings Park are all under threat of closure.

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “Let us be clear, this situation is a direct result of this Government slashing the budget that funds early years without a thought to the consequences.

“The council’s budget has been cut by £140 million over the past two years and a further £50m this year; and then there is the possibility of another £50m next year.

“We hope in the majority of cases that local schools will take over the running of the centres and staff.

“We are also offering voluntary early retirement and severance schemes to offset any job losses.

“In the face of massive Government cuts, we have strived to protect services to children and families as much as we can.”