A FORMER head teacher is coming out of retirement to ensure there is a pre-school facility in south Douglas from September.
John Rhodes, who was head at Ballacottier School when it opened in 1998 until 2011, offered his help at the school’s facility after hearing provision couldn’t be guaranteed because of low take-up of places.
Manx charity Mooinjer Veggey won the lease at Ballacottier, but said not enough parents had registered children to cover staff salaries.
It will be run by Mr Rhodes as well as his wife Cath and daughter Rebecca – both pre-school teachers who lost their jobs after the Department of Education and Children privatised provision.
Rebecca explained: ‘Mooinjer Veggey were offered the lease on the Ballacottier nursery but there was not enough take up from parents to afford to keep on the staff.
‘It was looking like the Ballacottier nursery would have to stay closed in the next school year. Because myself and mum were out of jobs anyway we decided to work unsalaried for a little while until enough children come so we can afford to be paid, to build it up.’
She added: ‘It would be such a shame to lose it. The children of south Douglas deserve a pre-school.’
Rebecca, who worked at the pre-school at Ashley Hill School in Onchan until the end of term, said that Cooil Pre-school had received a ‘very good response’ from parents. ‘Places are filling up pretty quickly,’ she said. ‘We are over the moon about that.’
Her father retired after a 33-year teaching career last summer. When asked what he thought about coming out of retirement, Rebecca said: ‘It’s quite an exciting opportunity.
‘We are working together as a family. It’s our chance to put our stamp on it.’
They are offering morning, afternoon and whole day sessions from Monday to Friday. They believe it will be of benefit to parents of pre-school children living in Douglas and Onchan, as well as those commuting into Douglas.
Cooil Pre-school will be part of Mooinjer Veggey, as the charity has retained the lease, and will follow its principles of encouraging the Manx language through songs and rhymes. For more information go to cooilpreschool.im
l Mooinjer Veggey won the contract to operate at Ashley Hill, Willaston, Ballasalla, Manor Park and Ballacottier – after the government privatised pre-school provision.
Willaston, Ashley Hill and Ballasalla Mooinjer Veggey Nurseries will run sessions from 9am to midday and 8.30am to 12.30pm.
Manor Park Mooinjer Veggey will operate sessions on Wednesday and Friday from 1pm to 4pm. Depending on registration, more sessions may be offered if the demand is there.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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