School nursery plan

A VILLAGE school is set to introduce a nursery class for children aged three and four.

Hambrook Primary School is planning to expand its age range from the current four to 11 to include three-year-old children to tackle a “shortfall in placements” with other providers.

South Gloucestershire Council said the school’s governing body had held consultations with parents and market research to assess the likely demand, as well as talking to existing pre-school local providers.

The council said: “An independent provider did exist on the Hambrook school site previously but has closed in recent years and has not been replaced, leaving a shortfall in placements.

“These activities have indicated that there is demand in the area for pre-school places and that a provision at Hambrook Primary will help to meet the need of the local community.

“Assessment of accommodation at the school has identified space for the proposed nursery without adverse effect on the accommodation and facilities for school-aged children.

“The increased offer to working parents for funded childcare from April 2024 will see an increase in demand for pre-school places. A provision at Hambrook Primary School will help to meet the increase in demand.”

The council held a four-week consultation, which was announced in late February and closed on March 20, ahead of a proposed introduction of the increased age range from April 1.

The consultation document said: “There are no plans to make any other changes in the organisation of Hambrook Primary School and the governing body, leadership and staffing arrangements will remain as they are.

“Discussions will take place with the existing staff and the governing body will be responsible for appointing staff to meet the needs of the proposed nursery class.”

The council added: “It is not anticipated that this proposal will have any effect on any other schools in the area.”