Lincoln nurseries could still close despite funding boost

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Two “brilliant” Lincoln maintained nurseries have been given a funding boost, but they’ve warned it’s only enough money for the next year.

St Giles School on Addison Drive and Kingsdown Nursery on Kingsdown Road will get a share of a £24 million government money.

Children’s Minster Nadhim Zahawi announced the extra funding on February 28, but the schools say it’s only a “short term solution.”

The nurseries will now be able to run until the end of the 2019/2020 academic year, but it’s still unclear whether they could be forced to close after that.

Maintained nurseries provide care and support for more than 5,000 children with special education needs and for those from deprived backgrounds.

The government provided £55 million each year in supplementary funding since a new formula was introduced in 2017, but this is set to end after the academic year.

Funding would drop from £5.93 to £3.84 per hour. Many of the affected nurseries across the country warn that it’s not enough money to remain open.

Ofsted recently rated Kingsdown as ‘good’ and St Giles as ‘outstanding’ – the sixth time in a row that St Giles has received the highest such rating.

St Giles and Kingsdown nurseries are both highly rated. Photo: Google Maps

Lincoln nurseries will march to Parliament

Both nurseries will march to Parliament on March 11 to hand a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling for long term funding.

The letter the schools wrote warns that “there is a real possibility that our schools will close”.

“This would be a disaster for the communities we represent, pulling the rug from under the children and families we support.

“We call on you to act to safeguard the future of our schools, in the short term through maintaining supplementary funding of £60 million per year past next April 2020.”

Kate Marnoch, headteacher at Kingsdown Nursery, told The Lincolnite: “It’s really good news that the government will fund us for the rest of this academic year.

“If we didn’t get this funding we would have to tell parents we couldn’t keep their children until the end of the year.

“There are still questions over the long term future but we think this funding is a very good start.

“It’s a short term solution but we need to celebrate any good news when we can get it.”

The headteacher at St Giles Nursery, Amy Stancer, was less enthusiastic about the government’s announcement.

She commented: “They’ve only given us three extra months of funding. We need a long term solution.”