THE Vale of Glamorgan Council has moved to clarify the situation regarding Bute Cottage and Cogan nursery schools in Penarth following local confusion around their futures.

The merger was approved at a Council Cabinet meeting on Monday  despite the plans receiving over 110 objections. It was reiterated at the meeting that the plans will have no impact on where pupils are taught and who they are taught by as both nurseries will continue operating from their existing premises with the same staff.

The Council clarified that despite suggestions to the contrary, both nurseries will remain at their current locations and it has never been the intention to close, move or dispose of these sites.

The proposals, which relate to Leadership and Governance, will see Bute Cottage Nursery merge with Evenlode Primary School and Cogan Nursery join Cogan Primary School from September.

Paula Ham, Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Director of Learning and Skills, said:

“These plans involve keeping Bute Cottage Nursery and Cogan Nursery on their current sites. There are no plans to relocate the schools and existing staff will remain in post.

“Over the last 10 years, the Council has looked to adopt a primary school model that caters for children from age three to 11. This has involved merging other schools elsewhere in the Vale and leaves Bute Cottage and Cogan as the County’s only two stand-alone nursery schools.

“The amalgamations relate to the governance and leadership of the schools. Such a move creates a more holistic educational journey for pupils, a smoother transition from nursery to primary provision and has proven successful in other school settings. It also streamlines communication between parents, carers and staff by creating a single point of contact throughout all phases of primary education.

“It allows for a single strategy, set of policies and ethos across all year groups as well as offering the opportunity to make efficiency savings that can be invested back into schools.

“The Council has consulted widely on this matter and responded to points made by the community. A copy of the consultation report is available on the Council’s website, which sets out in detail the full extent of stakeholder engagement that has taken place.”

By Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com

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