Dear Parents, Carers, School Staff, Local Community
CONSULTATION ON THE PROPOSED CLOSURE OF
THE PRE-SCHOOL PROVISION AT IVINGSWOOD ACADEMY
I am writing to let you know that owing to financial pressures it is proposed that the Pre-School provision at Ivingswood Academy will close on 31st December 2017.
Why are we proposing to close the Pre-School?
This is for financial reasons. The income we receive from Pre-School funding is a set amount per child out of which we pay for staffing and learning resources. Regrettably, our Pre-School income does not fully cover these running costs. This has resulted in a significant cost to the Academy which, in the current situation of increased pressures on school budgets, is unsustainable.
Does the White Hill Schools Trust support the proposal?
The White Hill Schools Trust is the legal entity responsible for Ivingswood Academy. Its Trustees have considered all the various factors, including the school budget, and have unanimously agreed to support this proposal.
Why are we consulting now?
The process we must follow is set out by the Department for Education (DfE) and to ensure we follow the process correctly and that we take account of your views we want to allow time for consultation and decision-making. This consultation will run for four school weeks – from 21st June to 19th July. Once the consultation has closed, the Trustees will decide whether to put forward a business case to the DfE for the closure of the Pre-School. The business case would include a report on the outcome of the consultation. If the DfE approved the business case, the White Hill Schools Trust, with its legal advisers, would take the proposal forward.
What about the children due to start Pre-School in January 2018?
At present, we have no children due to start with us in Pre-School in January 2018. We hope that by starting the consultation process now prospective parents will have time to find places elsewhere.
What will this mean for staff?
At this stage, it is envisaged that if the Pre-School is closed, this may result in some redundancies. Any proposed redundancies would however be subject to a formal redundancy consultation process in due course.
Will the proposal have any impact on the rest of the Academy?
It is unfortunate that we will not have pupils coming through to Nursery from our own Pre-School, although we hope that children joining our Nursery will have benefited from alternative Pre-School provision. Closure of the Pre-School will also mean that funding meant for the whole school will no longer be put towards bridging the funding gap in Pre-School. This will benefit the Academy in many ways by supporting the provision of staffing and resources throughout the Academy.
We can confirm that we are not consulting on the closure of either the Nursery or Primary School.
Are there any ways that the Pre-School could become financially viable?
We have looked at the finances over the past three years, and there has been a significant shortfall between income and costs every year. We have met with Buckinghamshire County Council to consider ways of increasing income, but this has unfortunately resulted in no viable proposals to close the gap in funding.
How can I respond to this consultation?
Please complete the consultation response form attached and return it to the Academy by 19th July. We would be grateful if you could complete the form whether you agree with the proposal or not.
What happens next?
This period of consultation will close on 19th July 2017. As noted above, following the close of the consultation and having taken into consideration any views put forward in this consultation, White Hill Schools Trust will then decide whether to submit a business case to the DfE for approval to close the Pre-School.
We would like to hear your views on our proposal and look forward to receiving your completed response.
Please click here to view the original letter: