Barnet MPs, Mike Freer and Theresa Villiers have welcomed an assurance by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson that he is determined to resolve the funding issues faced by maintained nursery schools in Barnet.
Maintained nursery schools around the country have struggled since changes were made to the allocation of early years funding in 2015. The Government provided transitional funding, but Barnet nursery schools did not qualify for it.
Following a meeting with the two Barnet MPs in Parliament yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education has ordered a review into the funding arrangements for this type of nursery school, vowing to find a solution to put these Barnet schools on a stable financial footing for the future.
Gavin Williamson said: “Theresa Villiers and Mike Freer, have been relentless campaigners for maintained nursery schools in Barnet - in fact theirs was one of the first calls I took when I became Education Secretary.”
“I am determined to find a solution to the specific funding problems faced by maintained nurseries in Barnet and I can confirm that the Department for Education will be launching a review on the future of maintained nursery schools that I expect to provide a clear outcome that puts maintained nursery schools in Barnet on a stable financial footing for the future.”
“Mike and Theresa have been relentless champions for education in Barnet and I thank them for getting an keeping this key issue on the agenda and their broader work championing these excellent schools.”
Commenting after the meeting, Theresa said “I very much welcome the announcement of a review into maintained nursery schools and Gavin’s commitment to sorting out this long-running problem”, said Theresa.
“I have been campaigning to save the maintained nursery schools in my constituency and I believe that today’s visit marks an important step towards securing the future of these outstanding schools.”
There are three maintained nursery schools in the Chipping Barnet constituency, Brookhill, Hampden Way and St Margaret’s (grouped together as a federation called the Barnet Early Years Alliance), and one in north Finchley, Moss Hall. They are all rated as Outstanding by Ofsted. Theresa and Mike presented petitions in Parliament in February with over a thousand signatures calling for these schools to be saved.