Maintained Nursery Schools - future uncertainty


100 years ago this year, local authorities were given the power to set up Nursery Schools to improve the lives of the poorest children through better health and education.  A century on, and local authority run Nursery Schools are still transforming the lives of children and families in some of the most disadvantaged areas of England.  But they are an endangered species – fewer than 400 remain, and all are under threat of losing a third of their funding from the government in 2020, which for many would mean closure.

Maintained nursery schools are unique because they have highly qualified staff – leaders, teachers and teaching assistants who are specialists in working with under 5s, and in supporting young children with SEND and with other complex needs.  They provide the highest quality early education, 63% nationally are rated outstanding by Ofsted.

There is considerable evidence that it is high quality early education that makes the difference in raising achievement, particularly for the most vulnerable children. The 2015 OFSTED Early Years report endorses the consistent evidence of other national research that the most effective early education is provided by Nursery Schools. Nursery Schools are inspected under the same framework as Primary Schools and Rockwood Nursery School was judged Outstanding in 2014.

Lancashire has 24 Nursery Schools, with the majority being outstanding.  The Nursery schools have gone from strength to strength with the support that they receive from Lancashire County Council Local Authority. 

Rockwood Nursery School has developed provision that puts children and their families at the heart of everything that they do, with a strong belief in the importance of high quality learning environments and responsive interactions delivered by highly qualified and skilled staff. Children at Rockwood Nursery School become confident learners and every child regardless of their unique starting point is supported to reach their full potential.

However, funding cuts and increase in running costs has now put the Nursery schools budget into financial difficulty.  A long term funding solution needs to be put in place now that recognises the value that Maintained Nursery Schools bring to the early years sector.  This is vital if our school is to remain in the community and continue to provide the outstanding early years’ education and care.

We are asking for support from all our parents/carers, families, community groups and anyone with a belief in the importance of Nursery Schools remaining in our communities.