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Labour’s nursery plans not providing equality they claimed.

January 25, 2014 11:10 PM

The Labour Cabinet insist that one of the main principles that underlie their cuts programme is that "Services are as equitable as possible across Rhondda Cynon Taf."

Yet their changes to nursery education and the wide range of possibilities and range of provision that will undoubtedly result is sure to make for even greater inequalities.

The Council have issued guidance to Headteachers who are left having to try and battle their way through a minefield not of their own making.

Schools will only be funded for 15 hrs per pupil per week nursery education for three year olds. Yet the Council have said it is up to the individual school whether they can afford to top that up to full time. It is very unlikely that many, if indeed any, schools will be able to afford this. The guidance actually says that

"With possible future reductions in public sector expenditure, it may become harder for schools who offer additional school delivered nursery provision to continue for the foreseeable future."

So why was the suggestion put out there in the first place? Other than as an attempt to pass the buck and divert some of the anger towards schools.

If any schools so find themselves in a position to fund full time provision then the Council are now saying that they will consider subsidising a free school meal for those pupils who are eligible. Yet more inequality creeping in.

Home to school transport is being withdrawn for part time nursery pupils, yet Heads have been told that if a school is able to provide full-time provision then "the opportunity may arise, subject to the availability of seats, for parents of pre-nursery pupils to purchase a spare seat on a Home to School Transport vehicle."

So far from making for more equality of provision it appears the Council's plans may do the exact opposite.