Following a nationwide campaign, the Government today announced £24 million for England’s 400 nursery schools, described by Jack Dromey MP for Erdington and Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Nursery Schools as a “welcome reprieve”. Mr Dromey insisted, however, that a long-term solution had to be found at the next stages to secure the future for years to come of what he described as “the jewel in the crown of pre-school education.”
Jack Dromey said:
‘ The campaign to save England’s Nursery Schools, the jewel in the crown of pre-school education, was born in Birmingham. Three years ago England’s Nursery Schools faced complete catastrophe with the prospect of half of them closing. The campaign by Headteachers mobilising parent power was then launched in Birmingham at a Summit convened by Birmingham City Council of the City’s 27 nursery schools.
That then led to the formation of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nursery Schools. The inaugural meeting was so big, 600 strong, that it had to take place in Central Hall Westminster opposite the House of Commons. The nationwide campaign launched then won transitional funding for a three-year period avoiding what would’ve been wholesale closures.
Transitional funding is, however, running out and that’s why a renewed campaign was launched before Christmas at a 400 strong meeting of the APPG. Once again, led by Birmingham’s Nursery Schools, parents spoke out nationwide urging the Government to act. Today’s announcement is welcome creating some stability for the next year and allowing our Nursery Schools to offer places to parents for their kids. Next we will press for a long-term solution because our nursery schools must be able to count upon secure funding for the future. They are simply too important to the lives of children and their parents to do otherwise.
Mr Dromey concluded “I would like to pay particular tribute to the magnificent four Erdington Headteachers who have been at the heart of the campaign over the past three years. Sally Leese, Head of the Castle Vale Nursery School, Helen Masaun, Head of the Marsh Hill Nursery School, Elaine Dupree, Head of the Featherstone Nursery School and Sharon Eeles, Head of the Osborne Nursery School represent all that is best in pre-school education. They are proud of the best possible start in life that they give to Erdington’s children just as the parents of Erdington are proud of them.
Sally Leese, Head of the Castle Vale Nursery School and Chair of Birmingham’s Nursery School forum said “We are thrilled to have the supplementary funding which means we can now commit to supporting children and families for another year. We are grateful to the Government for listening to us, the MPs, APPG and the families who work with our schools, to acknowledge the unique nature of work we do. We cannot carry on, however, hoping year on year that we will receive the additional funding and therefore will continue, with the support of Jack Dromey MP to work with the Government to find a long term solution to secure the future of our schools.
For further information please contact Charlie Rainsford on 07450 211840