Families with young children in two areas of Swindon will soon have more options for nursery education.

Two primary schools in the town have been given permission to extend their age-range for admissions. Both Nythe Primary School and Bridlewood Primary in Blunsdon St Andrew will be able to take in children as young as two for classes before formal primary education begins.

Headteacher at Bridlewood Primary Vicky Sammon was delighted by the decision.

She said: “We take in a lot of children to our reception class from a wide variety of different backgrounds.

"It will really benefit the children to be able to have us work with them before they start at school - although there’s no guarantee that coming to the nursery school will mean you have a place at the primary school.”

Mrs Sammon added that pre-school education would be beneficial to youngsters wherever they subsequently go on to school.

She added: “It’s mainly about the professional expertise of qualified teachers - staff at pre-schools tend not to be qualified teachers.

"And that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with what they provide, or a child staying at home but having qualified teachers who can provide that expertise and understanding about what a child needs, such as early phonics, before a child starts primary school is very valuable.”

The new nursery classes will be created from existing classrooms on the site, with £350,000 allocated by Swindon Borough Council for the work.

The move should prove very popular with parents locally. Of 34 responses to a public consultation - more than 90 per cent were in favour.

The decision by six members of the council’s cabinet to grant the application to Nythe Primary School.

The move will mean that Nythe Pre-school, which has a lease at the school’s site which runs out in July 2019 will have to move out. The new nursery provision will use the spaces currently used by the pre-school.

Of 70 respondents to the consultation on the application, 40 per cent were against it, with many saying they were happy with the existing pre-school provision.

Headteacher at Nythe Primary, Sally Clarke told the meeting of cabinet members: “This proposal is about increasing the early years provision.

"The quality of provision by the existing pre-school is good, but this is about merging early years provision into one team for the children of Nythe.”

Swindon Borough Council's cabinet member for children and schools, Coun Mary Martin said: “I am very pleased with the outcomes of the decisions made by the school panel. The government has set out a commitment to improving social mobility by focusing on early years education provision and the parents of children in Swindon are entitled to be confident in the knowledge that sufficient provision has now been secured for their children. I acknowledge the amazing early years provision offered by a host of private and community providers and this safeguards an additional and alternative start for our children”