A state primary school is launching into the commercial world by opening a fee-paying nursery.
The Little Shepherds Day Nursery in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, is due to open in September, writes Mark Whitehead.
Major companies, including electrical retailer Comet and car maker Nissan, are backing the scheme, which is thought to be the first of its kind in the country, at Shepherd primary school.
The 72-place nursery, for children aged from six months to four years old, will be housed in a self-contained block purpose-built 10 years ago.
The move follows Hertfordshire County Council's decision to offer nursery places to all four-year-olds by opening new nurseries in several schools. This meant the number of places at Shepherd being halved and would have led to redundancies.
The new project, thought to be the first of its kind, is backed by the county council, which has underwritten initial costs.
Headteacher Ian MacAteer and school governors will form a charitable trust to enable them to charge fees, with any profits being put back into the main school.
School Management, TES2 page 23