Nurseries ‘at risk of closure’ protest funding cuts

Staff from two “brilliant” Lincoln maintained nurseries protested in Parliament against funding cuts, as they warned of closures to come.

St Giles Nursery School on Addison Drive and Kingsdown Nursery on Kingsdown Road are both maintained nursery schools which rely on extra state funding.

Headteachers from the Lincoln nurseries were joined by two others from Lincolnshire. All four care for over 500 combined children in the county.

They were in London on Monday, March 11 to protest against planned funding cuts and hand a letter to Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

From left to right is Jo Noble, Amy Stancer, Laura Cook and Kate Marnock.

In their letter seen by The Lincolnite they call for the future of their nurseries to be secured: “The work that we do is transformational, but increasingly it is also under threat.

“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.

“Please protect our schools now, and long into the future so that we can focus on supporting our children, rather than despairing about finding further savings in budgets already devoid of slack.”

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

Maintained nurseries provide care and support for more than 5,000 children, including those 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 will drop dramatically at the end of 2019/2020.

They are calling for funding cuts to be stopped.

Which means that funding would drop from £5.93 to £3.84 per hour. Many of the affected nurseries 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 rating possible.