Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire County Council to close Leek Day Nursery

A Staffordshire day nursery for children with special educational needs is to close.

Staffordshire County Council said on Monday that Leek Day Nursery would shut in December after a consultation with parents.

Councillor Mike Lawrence, responsible for children, said the site would only close once all 12 children had settled into new nurseries.

Parents had been campaigning to save the Buxton Road nursery.

Claire Pickford, whose three-year-old daughter attends the nursery, said: "I'm absolutely devastated.

'Will be supported'

"It's disgusting. I feel belittled by them [the council]."

Sam Chamberlain, a mother of three children under the age of five, said: "I just don't know what I am going to do.

"I don't know what hours they'll be funded where they can go."

The council said research had shown children with special educational needs in mixed learning groups in mainstream education "develop better" than those in specialist education.

Councillor Mike Lawrence, cabinet member for children's wellbeing, said: "Young people need good quality, tailored care in their own communities where they can play and learn with other young people from a range of backgrounds.

"We are absolutely committed to the 12 children that are affected by this change and we are not going to leave them unsupported.

"Leek Day Nursery will only close when every child is settled in their new surroundings."

The council said it had consulted the nursery's staff fully and would try to keep as many of them on as possible.

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