A letter from Lucy Driver, Headteacher and National Leader of Education at St Pauls Nursery School and Children’s Centre.
At St Pauls Nursery School we are committed to providing the highest quality education for your children. Every day we work to inspire a love of learning in the children you entrust in our care, and ensure every child gets the support they need to access an early years education.
But we are concerned that funding cuts are seriously threatening the provision at maintained nursery schools everywhere. As a headteacher, I feel it is my duty to give you an honest account of the challenges nursery schools across the country face right now.
Like other schools, maintained nursery schools have been struggling with chronic underfunding for years. Many across the country have already been forced to close their doors permanently. But the situation is getting worse. Recent changes to Government funding policy are putting all our nursery schools at risk.
Three years ago the Government accepted that funding for nursery schools is insufficient. As a stopgap, they allocated some money to plug holes. But this funding expires in 2020 and – despite recent announcements of extra money for schools – there is still no commitment to renew it.
Unless the Government changes course, every nursery school faces losing 30% of their budget on average from September 2020. That means severe cuts to the education and services we will provide to families. Under these conditions, many nursery schools will simply not be able to stay open.
Across the country, nursery schools enrol more than 40,000 children. The majority of us are located in some of the poorest parts of the country. The quality of education we provide helps to close the gap between the most disadvantaged children and their peers. If nursery schools are forced to close or cut provision, tens of thousands of children could be left without an early education place.
There are 392 nursery schools in England, it is important that we stand together to take urgent action. That’s why our nursery school, our staff and leadership teams are adding their voices to a network of organisations working to protect nursery schools.
Today we are asking you, our community, to do the same.
If you agree that nursery schools should stay open, and be adequately funded for the long term, then please add your voice to the School Cuts campaign petition. We are calling the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to take urgent action. Please encourage your friends and family to do the same.
If every parent of a child in nursery lends their voice, together we will make this issue impossible to ignore. You can take action today by:
- Sign the petition, you can do so online by clicking here (also available at the front desk)
- Share with every parent, guardian, and teacher you know
- Write to your MP and ask for their support.
Headteacher and National Leader of Education
St Pauls Nursery School and Children’s Centre
You can sign the petition, online, by clicking here.