Government funding has been secured for a brand new school-based nursery to be built in Southend-on-Sea.
Prince Avenue Primary School, in conjunction with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, secured £780,000 from the Department for Education to build a brand-new nursery for 68 children.
The nursery will be a separate block, built within the school grounds and will hopefully be open in September 2020.
Will Hill, Headteacher of Prince Avenue Primary School, said: “We are thrilled to be awarded this funding as the new nursery will make a massive difference to the school and the local community. We are now able to extend our capacity and offer full, as well as part-time childcare places for children aged two up.
“We were one of the first schools within Southend to have an on-site nursery, but it is in a converted classroom and the staff have managed well with limited facilities for some time now.
“This is a really exciting project and we are delighted that by September 2020, we will be able to offer first class resources and early years childcare support, in a purpose-built nursery. It’s really going to make a big difference to the families in our local community.”
The school in Hornby Avenue already has an on-site nursery with 26 places. The new-build will allow for an additional 42 places to be offered to parents and in a purpose-built setting.
Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “This is great news for Southend-on-Sea as it means additional childcare resources for the town, more high-quality day-time nursery placements for our young generations and with the 30 hour tax-free childcare funding scheme, we will hopefully see more parents being able to return to work.”
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council asked for expressions of interest from local schools to support bid applications, after the Department for Education announced the school nurseries capital fund in July 2018. In total there were 69 successful projects to create new or improve and refurbish existing school-based nurseries for children aged 2, 3 and 4 year olds.
The council is urging local people to help shape the future of culture and art in the Borough.
A quick online survey has been launched that will help the council to develop a cultural vision for the Borough and set priorities for the future.
It will also help the council to understand how it can develop a diverse creative place that is known for its exciting experiences with a vibrant arts and culture scene.
Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, says: “Southend-on-Sea already has a wonderfully rich, diverse and vibrant cultural environment and we want to ensure that we harness that now and into the future.
“We want to understand what culture means to people, what council funded facilities they already attend, and how they feel about the current cultural offer in Southend.
“The results of this work will also help us to understand how easy it is for our cultural facilities and events to be attended and accessed and find out what ideas people have for culture in the Borough. I would urge people to let us know their views and have their say.”
Visit: www.southendculture.co.uk/ to have your say.
Just how much plastic are schools and businesses using and producing in Southend? The council’s PlastiCity project is finding out and working with organisations around the borough to help them reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.
PlastiCity is a three-year research project, which is aiming to increase the amount of commercial and industrial plastics recycled in the 2 Seas region – England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. As part of this, the team are in the process of visiting over 300 local businesses and schools. They will be looking at the plastics that pass through these organisations and will be helping them to find ways to reduce single-use plastics, as well as improve plastic recycling.
Eventually, they hope to develop a local “circular economy” where schools and businesses work together to keep plastic products and materials which are not recyclable in use by utilising them in alternative ways.
The PlastiCity Team would like to learn what motivates businesses and schools to recycle plastic and what demotivates them from doing so. If you would like to help the team with this or would like one of the PlastiCity consultants to visit your business, please email them at [email protected], giving details of what it is you do.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “The global amount of plastic not being recycled is totally unacceptable and a strategic approach to educate and support businesses and schools in the recycling of commercial and industrial plastics is a big step in the right direction.
“It is a great opportunity for them to become actively involved in learning more about the consequences of not recycling plastics properly and improve their own recycling rates.
“Locally, we know more can be done. It gives me great pride that we’re the only UK town involved in this project and with the University of Portsmouth assisting with research, I am sure we can inspire schools and businesses to get involved and focus on keeping future generations safe and well.”
Visit the PlastiCity webpage for more information about the initiative.
A website has relaunched dedicated to providing important information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The website was designed by a group of parents from Southend Family Voice and other voluntary groups in partnership with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Southend Clinical Commissioning Group.
Providing a SEND Local Offer website is a statutory requirement, so all the information about relevant help, advice, products and local services can be found easily in one place. It is specifically aimed at the parents and carers of children and young people up to the age of 25, with special educational needs and disabilities.
A launch event was held on Thursday 30 January for children’s services professionals, advocates, parents and carers. It was important to develop a website that is easy to use, has a look and feel specific to Southend, and most importantly contains up to date information.
Speaking at the event, Cllr Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “I’m really pleased we’re able to relaunch the website, after it has had the input of so many people who use the page to access service information.
“I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment to develop this. We are building on the success and lessons learnt from the SHIP website, to provide something designed by parents, for parents and we hope it exceeds people’s expectations.”
Karen Migliorini, a representative from Southend Family Voice was at the launch event and spoke about her journey as the single mother to two (now adult) sons, both with severe learning difficulties, and a daughter who has forged a career working with those with learning disabilities.
She said: “We all contributed with co-producing the new local offer website because we wanted it to reflect what parents, carers, children and young people want and the provision and services available in Southend. Any feedback positive or otherwise will be welcome.”
Southend Family Voice are the parent-carer forum for Southend on Sea, who work with local service providers to ensure parents are involved and that their representative parent voice is heard about what is important to them in helping to shape, develop and improve local services. To find out more about the group, please visit www.family-voice-southend.co.uk.
If parents would like to be involved specifically in a group established to review the SEND Local Offer on an ongoing basis then they can either register their interest with Southend Family Voice, email [email protected] or call 01702 212328.
You can visit the new look SEND Local Offer page. You can also provide feedback on the new look website via the feedback link at the bottom of the webpage and feedback on the support available to pupils with SEND via the POET survey link.