5th March: Next UK Uncut action in Edinburgh

At 11.30am the Big Society Revenue and Customs joins community groups in Edinburgh to protest against the proposed closure of two nursery schools (High School Yards nursery and Princess Elizabeth nursery).

We’ll meet outside the city chambers before moving on to our favourite high street stores and banks from 12:30. It would be really good to get lots of people to join for both the nursery and high street protests.

If big corporations like Vodafone, Barclay, RBS and Topshop paid their taxes we wouldn’t currently be seeing the massive cuts to council budgets that are devastating our local services.

See you on the streets.


facebook event

ASSEMBLE – SAT 5th MARCH 11.30am & THU 10th 9am

High School Yards Nursery School (HSY) in the centre of Edinburgh is at serious risk of closure. Since 1959 it has provided standard bearing Early Years educational services, care and support to children & families. HSY is one of the 16 remaining council resources for young children. Ten years ago the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) had 18 Council funded Early Years establishments. If High School Yards & Princess Elizabeth Nursery Schools are closed, Edinburgh will have only 14 Council nurseries remaining & at risk.

We argue that it is not in the best interests of our children that the nursery schools are closed. The long-term result will be the inability to cope with demand for social provider education for future generations & the loss of affordable essential social resources.

The Director of Children and Families of the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) Gillian Tee is recommending closure on essentially financial grounds – she wants a final decision on HSY to be made on 10th March by the Full Council meeting (rather than the more relevant Education Committee meeting on 15th March). She intends for the HSY Nursery School to be shut by July 2011.

High School Yards is a Stand-Alone Nursery School.
A Nursery class attached to a Primary School is being recommended as an alternative. As at HSY, evidence shows that stand-alone nurseries for children under five, with substantial access to a Specialist Nursery Teacher for most of each session, produce the most effective pre-school education & start in life [ref. 2010 Bennett, et al, UNESCO].



  • High School Yards was awarded two ‘Excellent’ outcomes by the Care Commission in late 2010 for Quality of Care and Support. This is the highest standard that can be attained.
  • High School Yards has 28 children attending/enrolled, an increase in roll from 19 children despite closure proposal in September 2010. Since 2007/08, CEC withdrew support and resources for full day provision (Wrap Around Care), which is vital to working families – staff & placements of children were reduced as a consequence. Nursery schools have also had their placements cut since the Care Commission ratios were enforced in 2007/08, reducing the number of children to match the number of staff, rather than increasing the staffing to match the number of children.
  • The withdrawal of free full time places, the restriction of the tightening criteria, the constraint on available additional time to working parents and the deliberate withdrawal of staff to decrease the number of placements has resulted in a corresponding increase in costs per child. The CEC table given comparing the current allocation of places to the capacities of the nursery schools is misleading. Maintenance costs given by CEC are generic & not accurate or factually accurate specific to HSY nursery.
  • Nurseries are being closed by the back door. CEC have caused the conditions required to close the nursery schools. CEC admit restriction & reduction of access to provision, placements of children & reduction of staff since 2007/08. CEC admit to limiting & the withdrawal vital resources, support & funding from 2007/8 to the present.
  • CEC have provided inaccurate & misleading information about the projected savings (redeployed of salaries within the education budget is not a saving but a reallocation of costs & maintenance costs quoted by CEC are generic & not accurate or factual). CEC falsely claim financial benefits to the proposed closure.
  • CEC bottleneck children into high cost, substandard privatised childcare enterprises.
  • CEC have selected High School Yards & Princess Elizabeth Nursery Schools for closure because they are unwilling to make provision of job posts of previous staff.

Contact us at education[at]lists.riseup.net

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One Response to 5th March: Next UK Uncut action in Edinburgh

  1. Yonmei says:

    I can certainly show up to the City Chambers protest, but I’m physically not able to follow a long ill-defined walk to an unknown destination.

    But if anyone fancies a singalong, I’ll bring along my protest song book and some photocopied song-sheets….

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