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(UK) Worcester: Preschools close due to 'massive demand' for 5-y-o places

Nov 10, 2022, (UK) BBC News: Parents worried as Worcestershire special nursery places close

W. Midlands

Parents have said they are worried about their children's futures after a cut in the number of additional needs nursery classes in Worcestershire. The county council said the move was not permanent and it was caused by rising demand for special school places for older, reception age children. One mother said she was scared her son was "going to be failed". Lizzy, another mother, from Stourport, said the shortage of places "really needs to be looked at".

She said looking after her four-year-old son, Liam, could be "challenging"…. But in September that class and another at the Vale of Evesham School closed, due to high demand for places for five-year-olds…. "I've seen a massive demand, especially the first two weeks that we were told," she said. Another mother, who hoped to get her children into the class at Fort Royal, said: "I work with teenagers who've committed offences and a lot of them have undiagnosed issues. "I'm scared my son won't get the right place for when he starts school next year and I'm scared of what the future looks like." Childminder Becky McLean said she had taken calls from 11 parents in the last two weeks Councillor Tracey Onslow, responsible for education in Worcestershire, said there had been "an unprecedented demand for Special School Reception places this year". She said as a result, the council had been forced to make alternative arrangements and it appreciated this was causing uncertainty for parents. The council said it was reviewing its provision as a result. "There are no plans to close any settings now or in the future," Ms Onslow added.

Lizzy said she just wanted what is best for Liam


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