Parents hit out at Coventry University after nursery closure confirmed - The Coventry Observer

Parents hit out at Coventry University after nursery closure confirmed

Coventry Editorial 13th Jul, 2023 Updated: 13th Jul, 2023   0

PARENTS have accused Coventry University of ‘disregarding those affected’ after it confirmed it would be closing its nursery on October 31.

The decision was announced to parents and staff on Wednesday (July 12) following a consultation, which ended on June 13.

The decision was taken due to the nursery being deemed ‘financially unviable for some time’ with increasing costs leaving the university fearing losses would continue and worsen.

In addition, the university said the temporary building used for the nursery was approaching the end of its working life and replacing it would add to the current losses.

The university had originally intended to inform staff and parents whether the nursery would close by June 23.

However, a spokesperson for the university said the decision was delayed so they could try to find a way to make the service financially sustainable.

The spokesperson added all options had been explored and the university had consulted with colleagues and Trade Union representatives as well as seeking feedback and suggestions from parents, Coventry City Council and local MPs.

Campaigners said the university first announced its plans to close the nursery in a letter to staff in May.

A petition set up by parents calling for the university to save the nursery gained more than 2,000 signatures.

Support for the campaigners has included Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana, councillors and the city’s official Lady Godiva Pru Porretta.

Joel Busher, who set up the petition said: “We don’t accept any of their claims about the process.

“They have never shared information about the consultation process, have shared no information about equality impacts, and shared no detailed cost-benefit analysis.

“Also, they ran the process with complete disregard for those affected – its very clear that they hadn’t looked into options before threatening people with redundancy and bringing chaos to people’s lives.“

The Coventry University spokesperson said it would be supporting those employed at the nursery and exploring options for redeployment within the Group.

“We have now delayed the closure date to allow parents some additional time to find an alternative nursery provision.

“We appreciate the service is vital to those who use it, but the Day Nursery is used by a tiny fraction of our students and staff, currently fewer than 30, alongside parents registered on a commercial basis.

“Private operators we approached indicated that the nursery would have to be much larger to be financially viable.”

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