DfE awards funding for school nurseries and home-learning schemes

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Sixty-six schools in disadvantaged areas will share £22m in funding to expand their nursery provision for two- to-four-year-olds.

The education secretary Damian Hinds is announcing funding today to create up to 1,800 new school-based nursery places, which will be shared among schools across the country.

As part of the Schools Nurseries Capital Fund, places will be created in areas where high numbers of families are on free school meals.

The new places will be provided through new build projects or by expanding existing provision in schools graded good or outstanding by Ofsted.

The DfE had originally earmarked £30m for the scheme, when it was first announced last September.

A spokesperson confirmed that the remaining £8m has not yet been allocated.

The funding is part of the Government’s £50m for social mobility, with £20m going towards Early Years Professional Development.


Also announced today are new measures to boost home-learning.

The three-year Hungry Little Minds campaign will give parents access to video tips, advice and suggested games, which the DfE said would help to help tackle the barriers some parents face in supporting their children’s early learning.

This scheme builds on work by the DfE and the national literacy trust to bring together a coalition of businesses and organisations including the LEGO Group, Penguin Random house, Arriva and the Greggs Foundation.

Dunraven School in Streatham is already using new early learning content created by the LEGO Group and the EasyPeasy app.

The games are designed so that parents can play them with things they already have at home, including DUPLO bricks. The Lego Group is funding EasyPeasy’s development, with the partnership being piloted to 500 families, and plans to expand the scheme to 10,000 families before the end of the year.

Launching the campaign at Dunraven School, Mr Hinds said, ‘Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life but not everyone has family support at hand and there is no manual telling us how to do everything right.

‘Part of making sure our children have the opportunity to take advantage of all the joys of childhood and growing up is supporting them to develop the language and communication skills they need to express themselves. Sadly, too many children are starting school without these – and all too often, if there’s a gap at the very start of school, it tends to persist, and grow.

‘The only way we are going to solve this is through a relentless focus on improving early communication. So today, we’re launching a society-wide drive with new nursery places, support from business and steps to make learning easier in the home – to improve early learning across the country.’

Founder and CEO of EasyPeasy Jen Lexmond said, ‘We welcome the Department for Education’s campaign in highlighting how everyday moments can be opportunities for learning, long before children start their first day of school. Our community of parents use EasyPeasy to discover, play, create and share learning games with their children to develop the skills they need to succeed at school and beyond.’

She said that the partnership with LEGO had produced new learning games and would support the app’s future development.

The other home-learning projects are:


Through a partnership with Pearson free early years vocabulary intervention kits are being given to 500 nurseries in areas of high deprivation, developed with speech therapists using LEGO Education Storytales resources and designed to close the speech and language gap among three- and four-year-olds.

WH Smith

Employees will volunteer at Small Talk events in Swindon, run by the National Literacy Trust. Held in venues, such as shopping centres and coffee shops, trained staff volunteers will show parents simple activities they can do at home with their children to support their early language development.

Greggs Foundation

Training resources will be given to its 1,350 volunteers to help them support children and parents in developing language and communication skills at 550 breakfast clubs in the UK, attended by over 33,000 children.


Working with 12 bookshops across the UK to offer individual grants up to £2,000 to run events with parents of under-fives, including storytelling sessions, story sacks, and an eight-week cours to boost parents' confidence.

Arriva in partnership with Random House

Running a series of book giveaways at its stations, as well as staff working with schools through volunteering. Frontline train staff will also be trained in early education tips.

The 66 successful schools to share £22m in capital funding are:

School  Local Authority
Newbold CofE Primary School Derbyshire
Morven Park Primary and Nursery School Nottinghamshire
Lincoln Monks Abbey Primary School Lincolnshire
Prince Avenue Academy and Nursery Southend-on-Sea
Hogarth Primary School Essex
Whitton Community Primary School Suffolk
Canvey Island Infant School Essex
Snape Community Primary School Suffolk
St Clare's Catholic Primary School Essex
Forest Approach Academy Havering
Three Bridges Primary School Ealing
Granton Primary School Lambeth
Grange Primary School Newham
Ark Oval Primary Academy Croydon
Cramlington Village Primary School Northumberland
Caldicotes Primary Academy Middlesbrough
Central Walker Church of England Primary School Newcastle upon Tyne
New York Primary School North Tyneside
Stranton Primary School Hartlepool
Morpeth Road Academy Northumberland
West Cornforth Primary School Durham
St Anne's Catholic Primary School Wirral
Beechwood Primary School and Nursery Cheshire East
Eastway Primary School Wirral
St Michael and All Angels Catholic Primary School Wirral
Riverside Primary School Wirral
Unity Community Primary Manchester
Orgill Primary School Cumbria
Ash Grove Academy Cheshire East
Warrington St Barnabas CofE Primary School Warrington
The District CofE Primary School St. Helens
Thames Primary Academy Blackpool
Marsh Green Primary School Wigan
The Priory Parish CofE Primary School Wirral
St Paul's Catholic Primary School Wirral
Northmoor Academy Oldham
Kincraig Primary School Blackpool
Meadowside Community Primary and Nursery School Warrington
Greenfields Community Primary School Kent
Molehill Primary Academy Kent
St Mary's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School Kent
Pyrcroft Grange Primary School Surrey
Thomas Hickman School Buckinghamshire
Barton Hill Academy Torbay
Southbroom Infants' School Wiltshire
St Dennis Primary Academy Cornwall
Minerva Primary School Somerset
School of Christ The King Catholic Primary Bristol City of
Princecroft Primary School Wiltshire
Oasis Academy Warndon Worcestershire
Victoria Park Primary Sandwell
Chadsgrove School Worcestershire
Reynalds Cross School Solihull
St Oswald's CofE Primary School Worcestershire
Northfield Manor Primary Academy Birmingham
Cleeve Prior CofE (Controlled) Primary School Worcestershire
Ward End Primary School Birmingham
St Mary's CofE (VA) Primary School Worcestershire
Goldsmith Primary Academy Walsall
Watercliffe Meadow Community Primary School Sheffield
Selby Community Primary School North Yorkshire
Fairburn View Primary School, Castleford Wakefield
Wybourn Community Primary & Nursery School Sheffield
Mill Field Primary School Leeds
Grange Primary School North East Lincolnshire
Woodhouse West Primary School Sheffield

Nursery World Print & Website

  • Latest print issues
  • Latest online articles
  • Archive of more than 35,000 articles
  • Free monthly activity poster
  • Themed supplements

From £11 / month


Nursery World Digital Membership

  • Latest digital issues
  • Latest online articles
  • Archive of more than 35,000 articles
  • Themed supplements

From £11 / month


© MA Education 2021. Published by MA Education Limited, St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, London SE24 0PB, a company registered in England and Wales no. 04002826. MA Education is part of the Mark Allen Group. – All Rights Reserved