A playgroup which was threatened with closure has been saved at the eleventh hour after finding a new venue.
East Dunbartonshire Council gave Mosshead Playgroup notice to vacate their premises in the primary school grounds on Stockiemuir Avenue, Bearsden, in March this year because the school needed the additional space.
The playgroup’s request for a portacabin was rejected by the council so they began looking for another venue. It will now move to nearby Bearsden Ski Club on Stockiemuir Road from this August.
Manager Susan Miller, said: “We were devastated when we were told we’d have to move as we’ve been here for 25 years. Early years education is meant to be very important but really we were treated with total disregard.
“It’s been quite demoralising for staff as they have been worried for a while about losing their jobs.
“Sadly their hours will need to be reduced as we will only have a morning session.
“It’s also such a shame that we are no longer in the school grounds as it provided an excellent transition for the children.
“But we are relieved that we’ve found new larger premises which means we can accommodate more children.”
Chief education officer Jacqui MacDonald said: “We were happy over many years for Mosshead Playgroup to use space in the school that was not needed by pupils.
“As soon as things changed we spoke to them and while, for cost reasons, we could not provide them with a portacabin, we supported them in finding alternative premises.
“When the school roll rose the council’s priority had to be to provide the best possible education for the pupils. “However, we also place great value on the early years sector and recognise the job they do in preparing children for school.
“Education officers met the playgroup’s committee to help with a range of issues related to the changes they were facing. The committee thanked us for that support so I refute that they were treated with ‘total disregard’.
“Many playgroups and nurseries operate outwith school campuses and do an excellent job to help children get ready for school.”