We often get asked, ‘what exactly is a maintained nursery school?’ This is not surprising as there are only three in Buckinghamshire.
A maintained nursery school is funded and controlled by the local authority, just like any other local authority school.
They must be led by a headteacher and employ other qualified teachers; like all schools in the country, their special needs co-ordinator (SENCo) must be a teacher.
They are inspected by Ofsted in exactly the same way as primary and secondary schools.
Just 389 maintained nursery schools remain in England. They represent an unparalleled reservoir of early years’ expertise. 97% of them nationally and 100% in Buckinghamshire are rated with good or outstanding by Ofsted.
Maintained nursery schools are uniquely placed to:
- provide high quality early education, led by specialist head teachers, and delivered by qualified teachers, nursery nurses and early years educators.
- integrate education, care and health services for children, so that all aspects of a child’s development can be supported.
- put parents and families at the centre of their work.
- share their expertise with other early education and childcare providers, so that all children in the local community benefit.
- give priority in their admissions to vulnerable children and have the skills and expertise to support them successfully.
- are effective in ’closing the gap’ between the most disadvantaged children and their peers.
- as a consequence of local authority referrals and sign posting by health and social services they support a higher than average concentration of children with SEN/D. They are able to share their expertise in early identification and intervention with other settings.