Council’s £750,000 plans to transfer a Derbyshire nursery school into a primary school get the go-ahead

Derbyshire County Council County Hall4 NmsyjcDerbyshire County Council County Hall4 Nmsyjc
Derbyshire County Council County Hall4 Nmsyjc
Derbyshire County Council's £750,000 plans to transfer a nursery school into a primary school get the go-ahead v.1

Council bosses have agreed to a £750,000 transfer of a Derbyshire nursery into a nearby primary school due to running costs and difficulties in sustaining its existing building in one of the “most deprived areas” in the county.

Derbyshire County Council approved the move at its cabinet meeting, on Monday, July 10, for Gamesley Early Excellence Centre, on Winster Mews, at Glossop, to be transferred to the adjacent site of Gamesley Primary School, at Grindleford Gardens, in Glossop.

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The decision to move Gamesley Early Excellence Centre arose after an external childcare provider which had shared the original building vacated the site leaving a substantial space with increased running costs and difficulties in sustaining the nursery school.

Derbyshire County Councillor Alex Dale, Cabinet member for Education, said: “It has been the focus of quite a bit of work across the county with the department looking at the rationalisation of assets we have in that area.

“There was wrap-around childcare in that former building but that faltered in 2019/20 leaving a much larger space for Gamesley Early Excellence Centre and that has increased costs and there is a challenge to run another nursery school in that area.”

However, Cllr Dale explained that other uses for the existing building have been found so Gamesley Early Excellence Centre can safely move to the Gamesley Primary School site and continue to thrive with others in the same building while keeping costs efficient.

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Cllr Dale added: “There are a lot of benefits to co-location with the continuity of education and greater working between the two schools.”

Remodelling works for the nursery school are planned with new toilet facilities and a separate entrance at Gamesley Primary School and the site landlord The Academy Trust is obtaining work quotations and the cabinet has approved £750,000 for the project.

Following a supportive consultation, the council also stated that the nursery will be run separately within the primary school site and after a study of pupil numbers two classrooms will be made available for the nursery.

Cllr Dale stressed there would be no changes in terms of provision at the nursery school and the council has stated there will be no impact on the noise levels or staffing.

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Derbyshire County Council has also stated that due to falling birth rates in the area, the projected numbers for the primary school are due to decrease which should allow it to accommodate the nursery school.

The authority is monitoring demographics and housing to ensure there are sufficient school places and the majority of residential developments in the area have now been completed and 72 new dwellings which are near completion have also been considered.

Deputy Council Leader Simon Spencer thanked all those who have worked hard to find a solution for Gamesley Early Excellence Centre and in helping to meet the needs of children in “one of the most deprived areas of our county”.