Maintained Nursery Schools are local authority funded schools, with a headteacher and qualified teachers leading a team of specialist early years practitioners. They provide education for
2-5-year-olds. They are few in number - just under 400 remain in England – but represent a unique reservoir of early years expertise. 98% of them are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, a standard
not matched by any other part of the education sector
- Maintained nursery schools transform lives: 64% are in the 30% most deprived areas of England, and because of the quality of education they offer (62% are graded Outstanding by
Ofsted) they help close the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers, improving social mobility as a result.
- Their admissions policies prioritise the children in greatest need. They work closely with health and social care to meet the needs of vulnerable children and families and
offer integral family support within the nursery school and support many children in need who are increasingly not picked up by other services.
- They have a unique pool of expertise in supporting children with SEND both taking children whom other settings do not have the resources or expertise to support and helping
local settings to build their expertise and successfully support more children with SEND.
- The whole early years sector benefits from the expertise of maintained nursery schools acting as catalysts to raise standards in their locality through supporting schools
and early years settings to work together to improve their quality, including through a network of Early Years Teaching Schools.
If maintained nursery schools are lost, some of the most vulnerable children in society will lose the chance of a high quality early education that can set them up with the best chance of
achieving their potential. Expertise in early childhood education will be lost to the whole sector, setting back efforts to raise the quality of provision for all children.