THE closure of Abronhill Nursery was finalised last week as North Lanarkshire Council voted through the decision to transfer it to St Lucy’s Primary School.
The move, which will result in the closure of the last remaining council-run standalone nursery school in North Lanarkshire, was backed with a vote of 35 votes to 17, with the SNP’s motion to retain the nursery defeated.
Shirley McKenzie, who was involved in a Facebook campaign to save the nusery, said she was “disgusted” by the decision. “We never had a chance of changing the outcome. This decision was made years ago when the council started getting rid of nurseries.”
Councillor Tom Johnston, who raised the SNP’s retention, said: ”This closure will be a disaster for education in Abronhill. We have to look at the area as a whole.
“The council is closing two Nursery Schools in Abronhill and merging them into St Lucy’s and Abronhill primary schools.
“With Whitelees Primary already full, it means that there is very little surplus class space left in the area.
“The council is ignoring the 2,000 extra homes to be built in South Cumbernauld after 2012 and the cut in legal class size from 33 to 25 in primary one from August this year.
“This deeply flawed decision also wrecks government aspirations to move towards class sizes of 18 maximum in P1 – P3.”
North Lanarkshire Council insists that this move is for the good of the children and not just about saving money. he Inspectorate of Education has also said the changes would offer some educational benefits, and that parents elsewhere who expressed misgivings now speak highly of their children’s experiences.
St Lucy’s will be adapted ready for the nursery pupils’ arrival in August. The nursery unit will include a new large playroom, toilets, kitchen, and outdoor facilities, in line with Care Commission standards.