Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps recently returned to Ludwick Nursery, to congratulate the school’s leadership on its continued success, and pledge to protect funding for Maintained Nursery Schools.
Ludwick Nursery, which serves over 200 children, is one of 3 Maintained Nursery Schools in Welwyn Hatfield. Such schools often specialise in caring for children with disabilities or from disadvantage backgrounds. Despite this additional challenge, Ludwick has for several years now been very successful, and remains popular with parents. Grant last visited the school in 2016, and in 2011 planted a tree to mark his visit.
After congratulating the Headteacher Karen James and her fellow Governors for their work in making the school a continued success, the local MP discussed their future plans for the school. A key concern was the additional funding maintained nursery schools receive to meet their specific needs. This dedicated funding is secured until 2019-20, but not guaranteed beyond that.
During the meeting Grant pledged to raise the issue directly with the Chancellor, and do all he can to protect the additional funding. After the meeting, Grant was given a tour of the school, during which he both participated in music activities with pupils and checked in on the tree he planted 7 years ago.
Following the visit Grant commented “I have visited Ludwick a number of times in recent years, and each time I have been nothing but impressed with the commitment and care displayed by the school’s staff and leadership. The school’s continued success and popularity with parents really is testament to their hard work, and the dedication of the whole Ludwick community.
“As one of the few MPs with 3 maintained nurseries in my constituency, long term funding for such schools will always be a top priority. I have therefore written directly to the Chancellor Philip Hammond to stress the amazing work schools like Ludwick do, and asked for an in-principle commitment for their funding to be protected well beyond 2020.”
Headteacher Karen James said: ”We are very worried about the future sustainability of Ludwick Nursery School if a long term funding commitment is not reached soon. We feel that Ludwick plays a vital role in early years education. We have 4 consecutive outstanding Ofsted judgements, huge support from parents and we make a positive difference to closing the gap for disadvantaged children and those with SEND. Ludwick also leads a National Teaching School. It is great to have the support of our local MP to help to preserve the future of 400 maintained nursery schools nationally.’