31 Jan 2019, Katy Morton
It comes as new analysis suggests the ‘cash crisis’ for maintained nursery schools is growing, with settings set to lose a third of their funding next year.
MPs including Labour’s Lucy Powell, Ruth George and Harriet Harman and Conservatives Robert Halfon - chair of the Education Select Committee - Lucy Allan and William Wragg will come together to debate the sustainability of maintained nursery schools.
They will warn that waiting for the Spending Review, a date for which has not been set, to find a funding solution past 2020, as suggested by ministers, will be too late for many settings.
During the backbench business committee debate, the MPs will vote for a motion for Government to safeguard the future of maintained nursery schools by guaranteeing transitional funding after 2020 as soon as possible, while a long-term plan to ensure their future viability is found by the Comprehensive Spending Review.
New research from the House of Commons Library and analysis of Government spending figures on maintained nursery schools by Lucy Powell, MP for Manchester Central and chair of the APPG on Nursery Schools, Nursery and Reception Classes, suggests mass closure of nursery schools if additional funding from April 2020 is not guaranteed.
Together the research and analysis show:
There are currently 392 maintained nursery schools in England. A total of 16 have closed since 2016 because of funding pressures.
Lucy Powell MP said, ‘The loss of maintained nursery schools would be a terrible act of social vandalism. While we often hear warm words about the excellent education nursery schools provide, this needs to be urgently backed up by secure, long-term funding, so that we can safeguard the future of nursery schools across the country.’