With 57% of maintained nursery schools rated ‘outstanding’, it seems madness for them to face cuts. If anything, their remit ought to be extended
The prospect of state-maintained nurseries closing en masse sounds the lowest note of the austerity politics. Maintained nurseries have enjoyed a level of Ofsted success that the rest of the education sector might look upon with envy. In 2015, 57% of those nurseries achieved an outstanding rating, compared with just 12% of the sector as a whole. So my wife and I were more than happy to move our youngest adopted child from his private nursery when he became eligible to attend. Six months later, I would say that that our experience of his new nursery has been similarly outstanding.
That was clear from the very first time we attended Cheveley Park, Durham. The walls were bursting with beautiful displays, and the confidence of the staff in dealing with our child meant he adapted quickly and enjoyed being there from the outset. As a result, his progress accelerated quickly. Within a month he could recognise his printed name and made a pretty good stab at writing it too. He now comes home with enough paintings and “make and dos” to fill our recycling bin twice every week, and his newfound love of drawing has wallpapered the fridge. His language skills have mushroomed, and the nursery’s structured approach to phonics is providing him with a solid base that he can build on in reception.