May 20 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The soon-to-be axed Chestnut Nursery School in Beckton is still on the lookout for new premises.
Managers are making contingency plans after they were removed as service providers by Ellen Wilkinson Primary School.
The Tollgate Road school intends to take control of nursery provision for the under-fives from next March.
But this has left parents in limbo and unsure about their children’s futures. More than 350 people have signed a petition in support of Chestnut Nursery.
Chestnut Nursery managing director Karen Broughton said they had held talks about moving to the nearby St Mark’s Church centre.
She said: “The loss of Ellen Wilkinson really destabilises the rest of the company.
“We are looking for a lease but it would have to be a long lease after what has happened.”
Mrs Broughton said the nursery has been forced to freeze its waiting list, which is now into double figures.
She added: “The age group that is most affected is the under twos. There is a huge demand for that in that area.”
Unhappy parents have indicated they would like to move across to a new Chestnut Nursery rather than transfer to the Ellen Wilkinson replacement.
Newham Cllr Conor McAuley responded to a letter sent by a group of parents. He explained care for under twos will be provided by “Ofsted registered childminders linked to the school.”
“The timing of the decision and the notice period was determined by the contractual arrangements,” he said.
“As this has coincided with the summer holiday and Olympics period this has made communication with parents more difficult, for which we apologise.”
Meetings have been planned by Ellen Wilkinson School for today and Thursday.
Parent Nathalie Edgar, from Tollgate Road, said she will have to sit tight before deciding where to take her two-year-old son Zaion.
She said: “This has just got us more angry.
“The school is blaming the council and it seems that this decision was made a while ago. They should have communicated this a lot more.
“We just don’t know what the effect is.”