CONCERNS have been raised about proposed locations for a centre for children with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties.
The Isle of Wight Council’s two pupil referral units, Thompson House, Blackwater, and Clatterford Tuition Centre, Carisbrooke, may close and relocate to the former Broadlea Primary School site, at Berry Hill, Lake, and the Love Lane Primary School site, Cowes.
Both centres provide alternative school provision for children who have been excluded from mainstream education.
However, some worried parents believe the council hasn’t taken into account the Cowes site already houses Little Love Lane Pre-School and Nursery and a Sure Start centre for young children.
One mother, Wendi Hall, said: "The issue is not one of 'not in my backyard’ or a dismissal of a need for a high-quality centre for individuals.
"We just believe it’s being proposed for the wrong area."
Chairman of Little Love Lane Pre-school and Nursery Ken Burns said: "I have to question the appropriateness of locating a unit next to small children and babies.
"I don’t know of any other site in the UK where this happens.
"I’m worried about the perception of risk, which is already putting some parents off. We are a successful nursery and pre-school but we could end up looking like a prison if we have to erect high fences."
Steve Beynon, chief executive of the IW Council and director of schools and learning, said: "We have started a statutory period of consultation.
"Stage one of the process is to seek agreement in principle to the expansion and
relocation of provision for children and young people with a range of special and additional needs.
"Then views will be analysed and a decision made on whether to move to stage two or to take another look at the proposals.
"It is important to note any development of the proposed sites would require planning permission, providing residents with consultation."