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Confusion reigns over cuts

January 10, 2014 9:53 PM

Confusion still reigns over what exactly the changes to nursery education and youth service provision will mean for those affected.

RCT Labour Cabinet confirmed on Wednesday that they were pressing ahead with their 'phase 1' cuts which went out to consultation at the end of last year. The Council website yesterday carried a press release headed 'Cabinet respond to budget consultation' which conveniently skimmed over some of the important points.

They made much of the concessions announced with regard to nursery education. The changes will now not be implemented until September rather than April, and children will start full time the term after their fourth birthday rather than the September after.

The article does not make it clear that the Cabinet plans mean children who start full time now and are not four before September will then be put back down to part time until the term after their fourth birthday.

It does not mention the removal of home to school transport for children who are only attending part time, something which will have a major effect on Welsh Medium Schools in particular. Nor does it remind people that school dinners will not be available for these children

With regard to youth provision they fail to mention that they will actually be closing some existing community based youth clubs in order to centre them around schools. More importantly they make no reference to the fact that transport will be removed as part of the changes, meaning many will no longer be able to take part in E3 after school activities because they will be unable to get home afterwards.

Despite the substantial campaign which has been run against the nursery education cuts in particular many people across the County remain unaware of what is going on or the effect it will have. The confusion is evident by the number of questions being put forward on the 'parents against the cuts to education in RCT' Facebook page.

The Labour Council need to act quickly to make sure that there is full communication with parents, school staff and governors.