Announcement Regarding Clifton Hall Nursery

13 February 2019

Dear Parents

It is with a heavy heart that Clifton Hall School has decided to terminate its Pre-School Partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, effective from the academic session 2020 onwards, after 20 years of valued work together.

There are numerous reasons for this decision, which has been brought about by the Government’s decision to expand the number of hours devoted to Early Learning and Childcare from 600 hours to 1140 hours. The Government is likely to offer partner centres around £5.30 per hour per child plus a nominal payment towards lunch costs. In addition, they have created a number of stipulations and constraints regarding our Admissions Policy.

Together with the school’s Board of Governors, members of the management team worked hard to try to make the funding model work. However, notwithstanding substantial efforts on our part, such funding is simply not sustainable. To allow us to continue our partnership we would have to radically reduce the amount we spend on resources and, in addition, we would have to remove any member of the Nursery staff who is a qualified teacher as their salary is higher than this funding model allows.

To be clear, I am not prepared to compromise on quality, nor am I prepared to remove qualified teaching staff from the nursery setting, nor reduce my resource budget allocation. And, lastly, I wish to continue with our policy which gives priority for J1 entry to our Nursery children.

This letter is coming to you now so that you can plan ahead appropriately. The funding for next session (2019-20) WILL remain in place, but there will be no grant funding thereafter. As a result of this, the Board of Governors unanimously supported a Nursery Fee freeze for the next three academic sessions. In other words, our Nursery fees will remain at their current 2018-19 levels until, at least, the commencement of the 2022-23 session. We hope the Clifton Hall School community can understand our decision and can fully support the reasons behind the decision to withdraw from the Partnership.

If any questions remain, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly.

With my kindest regards, as ay,
Rod Grant