The University of Greenwich made a surprise announcement on 18 May to staff and student parents that the Avery Hill Nursery would close on 31 July and not re-open. The University made no attempt to consult parents using the Nursery, and did not even inform the Students' Union of its plans.
Parents, Unison, and the Students' Union have worked together since then to fight the closure, writing to the University, to the local MP, and marching on 22 June with their children to the University Vice Chancellors Office delivering a counter proposal to the closure. The Vice Chancellor said he would consider the counter proposal. On 2 July, the parents' action group got his response. The University is going ahead with closing the Nursery.
We believe the University's actions are deeply flawed, and the timetable for closure risks leaving student parents without adequate childcare this September.
Katrina Harradine, Vice President of the Students’ Union, said:
“If the Nursery closes, it will be devastating for the staff and students who depend on the Nursery for affordable childcare. They were led to believe by the University that, despite the risk of closure 2 years ago, the Nursery was safe. Parents feel misled, upset and angry. The parents we have spoken to tell us that there are long waiting lists for Nurseries as good as the Avery Hill Nursery. There is no guarantee for any of them that their children will have places at equivalent nurseries this September. And new students are coming in September who have no idea right now that there may be no Nursery left for them."
So what can you do about it?
1. Publicise this. Share this information with your friends. Get the story out to as many people as possible.
2. If you're a student at Greenwich and you're affected by the nursery closing, use your right to make a complaint. Contact the Students' Union if you need advice and assistance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 8331 8267.
3. Student parents will be demonstrating at the Avery Hill Campus on Monday 9 July
Watch this space!
For more information about the campaign please see http://www.suug.co.uk/welfare/survey/