Dear Parents/Carers,

Nursery School 2-day Closure:

We are struggling with severe staff shortages in our Nursery School (3-4yr olds).

This is caused by a combination of long term illness, Covid, isolation periods, sudden bereavements, car accidents etc. and the lack of available supply staff. We also have no applicants for the vacant posts we are continually advertising, which I find quite unbelievable.

Mainly we are managing, with the incredible willingness of our part time staff to step up to extra hours.

However, following further staff absence today and supply unavailability, we have reviewed staffing for the coming week and now know that we cannot sustain legal or safe staff ratios for the next 2 days.

It is with real regret that I have to inform you that Nursery School (JUST our 3-4year olds) will be closed for Tuesday 8th February and Wednesday 9th February.

I recognise that this will cause huge inconvenience for many of you, and can only apologise for this.

The circumstances in which we have been working for the last few years have been hugely challenging, and our priority is always to remain open, and remain brilliant, which I think we are doing so well, in the main.

We are not alone in having to consider temporary closures to classes.  The central government message may be ‘let’s get back to normal’, however the reality for ALL Early Years Settings and Schools is anything but normal. Due to Covid isolation guidance, lack of funding and the wider fall out from Covid, we are all facing a national staffing and recruitment crisis.

Entry and Access into Nursery School:

We have also been reflecting on how many of our children have found the start to nursery school this year tricky and are seemingly challenged by being with a larger number of children.

There is an inevitability that this will be affected by the numbers of staff absences, however we realise that many of our temporary Covid safety measures in Nursery School have affected children’s structure to the day, which is one thing that helps them to settle.

With this in mind we are making a few tweaks and ask you to help us with this please:

  • From Monday 14th February we would like you to bring your child INTO nursery please, from the side gate and down the steps (same as pick up at 2.45pm)
  • Please bring them to their key worker, who will be waiting to welcome them into their small group of friends, to start their day together
  • Please then exit OUT through the garden door, across the garden to the outside gate (previous drop off point)
  • Please leave buggies at the top of the steps undercover, to collect later

IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU ARRIVE AT NURSERY ON TIME AT THE START OF THE DAY PLEASE, as late arrivals disrupt the group time for other children, and mean staff have to leave their groups to answer the door.


We thank you for your patience and understanding with this. I think we had all hoped this difficult period was over, but there is no predicting illness.

At St Pauls we are committed to growing our own team to address the national recruitment crisis to the Early Years sector.

We still have an Apprentice role available for our baby room, Somali bi-lingual support and SEND support staff posts available (further information can be found on and Please share this with your family, friends and neighbours. Despite the challenges we are still a very lovely and happy place to work!

We look forward to seeing you again on Thursday.

Kind Regards

Lucy Driver

Headteacher and National Leader of Education

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