Save Our Maintained Nursery Schools
Save Our Maintained Nursery Schools 

Research and Evidence

Local Government Association report

In a recent report from the Local Government Association, 61% of local authorities with maintained nursery schools feared that their nursery schools would close if their funding wasn’t protected, and 52% said loss of that funding would reduce the support available for children with SEND (maintained nursery schools support more than double the average number of For further information contact Beatrice Merrick at Early Education T: 01923 43995 E: 29.6.18 children with SEND – 13.8% compared to a national average of 6.3% of nursery age children. 

London Councils' report

Hidden Value: A report exploring the role and future of maintained nursery schools in London (Sept 2018), from London Councils highlights the important role maintained nursery schools play in closing the gap and promoting social mobility, particularly in providing places for disadvantaged 2- year-olds, as well as in providing support for children with SEND. 


Yorkshire, Lincolnshire & Humberside Nursery Schools report

A report from seven Yorkshire and Lincolnshire maintained nursery schools on the "hidden benefits" of maintained nursery schools highlights the hidden role of maintained nursery schools in supporting children of families, for example the seven schools involved save other public services over £1million per year, in addition to offering high quality early childhood education to the children attending the school.

Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, noted in his 2012-13 annual report that:


"It is widely accepted that progress in early years for children from low income backgrounds depends on attendance in the highest quality settings… The only early education provision that is at least as strong, or even stronger, in deprived areas compared with wealthier areas is nursery schools."


 Ofsted, 2014


They are able to do this because of the quality of the education they provide. 57% of maintained nursery schools are rated outstanding by Ofsted, and 39% are rated good. No other part of the education sector even approaches this standard. Moreover, in other sectors, quality of education provision is linked to the affluence of the area, while the quality of nursery schools is consistently high regardless of local levels of deprivation. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools confirms this: “The only early education provision that is at least as strong, or even stronger, in deprived areas compared with wealthier areas is nursery schools” 


Ofsted, 2014


Without urgent action, nursery schools will soon disappear. Once lost, the cost of rebuilding an equivalent reservoir of expertise in early years education would be prohibitive. A rational system would make best use of the highest quality provision for the most disadvantaged children, and as beacons of good practice for the sector as a whole. Instead, we are allowing our finest early years provision to be lost in the interests of short-term cost savings. 



"Maintained nursery schools - the state of play report".


A recent study by Save the Children highlighted the importance of having qualified teachers in nurseries: "The charity found that children in independent nurseries without an early year's teacher were almost 10% less likely to meet expected levels of development at five than children in nurseries with qualified teachers."

"Maintained nursery schools are local authority schools. They provide education and other services to children under 5 and their families.  They:

  • Provide high quality early education, led by specialist headteachers, and delivered by qualified teachers and nursery nurses.
  • Integrate care, education, health and other services for children, so that all aspects of a child’s development can be supported.  Put parents and families at the centre of their work.
  • Share their expertise with other early education and childcare providers, so that all children benefit.
  • Are concentrated in disadvantaged areas: 64% are in the 30% most deprived areas of England.
  • Give priority in their admissions to disadvantaged children and children with special educational needs and disabilities and have the expertise and skills to support them successfully.
  • Are successful at “closing the gap” between the most disadvantaged children and their peers."

Maintained nursery schools: the state of play report March 2015