Fareham schools win bid to run Sure Start centres

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FOUR secondary schools in Fareham and a national charity have won a joint bid to run all the children’s centres in their area.

Henry Cort, Brookfield, Neville Lovett and Portchester schools together with 4Children will now take charge of five children’s centres.

The news follows Hampshire County Council’s controversial decision to tender out its Sure Start centres in certain areas to a single management, to make £6m savings.

Parents expressed concerns the move would price out local charities and groups.

Neville Lovett headteacher Nadine Powrie said schools would now have a say in education from birth.

She said: ‘The children in our centres will come to our schools, so if we can have a positive influence early on it will help them later on.’

Charles Ellis, deputy chief executive of 4Children, which boasts ‘outstanding’ Ofsteds for almost a third of its early years services, said: ‘We will work hard to support the children of Hampshire and their families, drawing on the proven high quality of our growing national network of children’s centres.’