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Parents appalled by surprise university nursery closure
PARENTS say they have been left high and dry by surprise proposals to close their university's nursery.
Both staff and students who use the University of Greenwich's Avery Hill Nursery only found out late last month that it could shut in July and now face a last minute rush to find other providers.
Louisa Ball, 28, said she only signed up for her teacher training degree because the nursery could take care of three-year-old daughter Lexi.
Ms Ball, who found out about the closure during the middle of her exams, said: "It's appalling. I don't think anyone who made this decision thought of the real people at the end who really use the service.
"It's almost a contract we've signed. I've come to your university because you've got a childcare option - you should fulfil it.
"If there hadn't been a nursery here I wouldn't have agreed to come."
The nursery, previously threatened with closure two years ago, was rated outstanding in its most recent Ofsted inspection and is still being advertised on the university's website to prospective students.
Vice president of the Students’ Union Katrina Harradine said there was anger over a lack of consultation.
She said: "Parents feel misled, upset and angry.
"The parents we have spoken to tell us there are long waiting lists for nurseries as good as the Avery Hill one."
She added: "We don’t believe it’s necessary to close the nursery, but parents and staff need to be given time to develop alternative proposals."
A University of Greenwich spokesman said: “The university is carrying out a confidential consultation with nursery staff regarding a proposal that the nursery should close at the end of this academic year, July 31, and not re-open in September.
“This proposal follows a review of university’s finances and priorities in this challenging economic climate and the changing Higher Education environment. No final decision has been taken.
“The university values all 3,000 staff and 23,500 students, across all its campuses, and will balance needs and resources accordingly.”
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