top of page

Wandsworth Nursery Schools on strike – cuts to places and staff – Sign the petition

On 11-13 June 2024, London Borough of Wandsworth nursery staff were on strike to oppose the loss of 20 posts at three Maintained Nursery Schools (MNS). These compulsory redundancies will impact the number of places and quality of provision at Balham Nursery School, Eastwood Nursery School and Somerset Nursery School and Children’s Centre.

The nursery school staff are represented by NASUWT and the National Education Union (NEU). NEU have raised,

"Staff are being threatened with compulsory redundancy amid plans to reduce the number of places for children. Children with SEND will be the ones to lose out most."

Campaigners warn that this is the first step towards closures and will impact quality of provision. These nurseries “act as a community hub for families offering a nurturing environment where families can seek advice and support, and the nursery schools support the most vulnerable families, helping to mitigate the effects of disadvantage and poverty.”

Parents Tributes

Parents have made tributes to the staff at the nursery schools and support the strike. Watch a parent describe how crucial the nursery has been for her child's speech and language development:

This parent explains the impact on quality of education, and risk of future closure:

Maintained Nursery Schools (MNS) under threat across the country

Somerset Nursery was built in 1982, Eastwood Nursery has been operating since the 1960s and the Balham Nursery opened in 1935. The nurseries are currently managed by the Wandsworth Federation of Maintained Nursery Schools on behalf of Wandsworth Council.

These are vital remaining infrastructure for the support and care of children with different learning needs. MNS prioritise their high quality early years education and care for the most disadvantaged children ie funded 2-year-olds, and provide expert support for children with different education support needs (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, SEND). They are often located in the most deprived areas of the country, and provide vital support for families.

Like maintained schools, MNS have a head teacher, governing body, delegated budget and at least one teacher with qualified teacher status (QTS), but they differ from schools in having a dedicated head teacher who is an Early Years specialist. Maintained Nursery Schools (MNS) are legally constituted as schools, and receive direct funding from Government (on top of accessing entitlement funding for free hours), however NEU have raised that this has not been adequate, especially due to the additional costs during the pandemic, and many are in deficit.

There were around 600 MNS in 1988 (DfE, 2019) and NEU warn just 385 Maintained Nurseries Schools (approx) are now left across the country. In 2021, academics at UCL and Brunel University argued that Nursery schools had been "re/constructed as a frontline service in the context of austerity policies enacted in England over the past decade", and that the current policy and funding context is "very hostile towards Nursery Schools in particular."

Save public Nursery Schools

We will share details of future strike action, meanwhile:

Follow NEU Wandsworth on X (Twitter):


bottom of page