Saturday, June 12, 2010

Save Goldsmiths Nursery

A campaign has been launched to save the nursery at Goldsmiths College, threatened with closure at the end of September 2010. The nursery currently provides 23 childcare places for students and staff.

The College states that it cannot afford to continue to subsidise the nursery at a cost of £70k per annum. The case against closure is set out on this petition:

'On 8th June 2010, parents and nursery staff were told by a member of Goldsmiths College’s Senior Management Team that in 3 months’ time, they plan to completely close the college’s nursery. Staff and Students have asked for an enquiry into the handling of the whole matter. Meetings informing staff and students were only announced with 24 hours notice, resulting in inevitably poor attendance at meetings crucial to the livelihood of many staff and students.

The atmosphere in the Nursery is special; educational, creative, friendly and safe. It is very rare to find the kind of care, support and attention to children that you find at Goldsmiths Nursery. It is a central part of College life, and should be respected and nurtured as such. The kind of care offered enables staff to return to work after maternity leave and students to return to their studies as parents, in the full knowledge that their children will be well looked after, nearby and safe.

If the College is committed to Equal Opportunities and encouraging the best professional women and men in the workplace, then the issue of childcare provision is highly pertinent. The lack of adequate on-site childcare is a classic barrier to women in terms of career development, but, conversely, the provision of high-quality childcare is a valuable incentive. Taking away the Nursery, especially when there is no comparable local provision (and Ofsted ranks the Goldsmiths Nursery as ‘good’) is a shot in the foot...'

A campaign meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday June 15 2010, 2 pm at Stephen Lawrence room, SU building, Dixon Road, New Cross.

Two demonstrations have also been planned, both to take place outside the old Deptford Town Hall building in New Cross Road. The first will be at 2 pm on on Friday 18th June, and the second on Monday 21st June at 9:30 am to coincide with the meeting of the Goldsmiths Senior Management Team.

Further information at the Save Goldsmiths Nursery facebook group

Unfortunately similar closures are happening round the country as cash-strapped colleges cut the soft target of childcare, and the national rhetoric of inclusive education is replaced by a retreat to the old style elitist model of limited access to university.

Meanwhile, Lewisham Council is planning to close eight childminding centres which provide childcare for parents using adult education centres as the Brockley Rise Centre. 26 jobs will go as a result.

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