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Reconsider Sheffield Surestart Nursery Closure

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Closure Of Sharrow Nursery On August 30th By Sheffield Children’s Hospital Trust Will Mean Shortage Of Nursery Places In Area Says GMB

GMB is asking for this decision to be reconsidered as we believe that this service is self-sustainable and generated a financial surplus in the last school term

GMB is calling on the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust to reconsider the closure of the Sharrow Surestart Nursery on August 30th.

GMB is asking the trust to consider that by 2014 there will not be sufficient private nursery places in the Sharrow area of Sheffield and that the service is self-sustainable and generated a financial surplus in the last school term.

GMB is contesting the reasons given to parents by the Trust. They said “for Sheffield Children’s hospital to continue funding the nursery, we would incur a significant financial loss” and  “sadly this is not a viable position for the organisation and it is with the deepest of regret that Sheffield Children’s Foundation Trust has had to make the decision to withdraw from providing services to Surestart Children’s centre.” 

Joan Keane, GMB Regional Officer, said “The final nail in the coffin of the Sharrow Surestart Nursery has now been hammered in and the service officially ends on 30th August. GMB is asking for this decision to be reconsidered

Sharrow Sure start nursery provided vital services to vulnerable children and their families who rely on the nursery. 

GMB believe that this service is self-sustainable and generated a financial surplus in the last school term. The closure of this nursery has resulted in the six highly skilled and dedicated members of staff receiving compulsory redundancy notices.

GMB is aware that over the last three years, the Trust has spent approximately £2.3 million on private consultancy firms. Added to this, in recent months, there has been an alarming increase in senior non clinical ‘business manager’ jobs whose pay ranges from £39,239 to £81,218.

By our calculations, one of these senior manager posts would cover the costs of utilities and rent for two Surestart Nurseries. It is a matter of priorities.

It is clear that the parents and children who rely on this service have been left with very little understanding of the reasons for this, and we are aware that by 2014, there will not be sufficient private nursery places in the Sharrow area of Sheffield. 

What are the prospects for the children with complex health needs and disabilities and their families?”

Sharrow Surestart nursery had previously been placed on a register of excellence for providing quality early learning services.

What does the future hold for these children and their families now that this vital service has been withdrawn by the Children’s Hospital?”  

End

Contact Joan Keane 07958 156 841 or  01924-887258 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 0r 07921 289880

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