Barnet Early Years Alliance continues to fight for its survival
The additional financial stress of the pandemic has pushed Barnet Early Years Alliance (BEYA), a federation of three maintained nursery schools (MNS), into deficit. The schools already faced an uncertain future as a long-awaited and promised funding allocation for the long-term has not been forthcoming from the Department for Education (DFE). Barnet is one of only three local authorities that have not received supplementary funding from the DFE.
Without an immediate prospect of long-term viable funding, local authorities and governors may have to make hard decisions about the future of schools that provide a vital service to some of the most disadvantaged communities in England.
We welcome the government’s recognition of the crucial role of MNS as system leaders. However, without long term funding, these gems may be gone.
MNS has played a vital role during the pandemic. They have remained open to provide education and childcare in some of our most disadvantaged communities and to children with complex needs, taking in children from elsewhere when local private providers have been closed. They have also gone above and beyond their education role, supporting vulnerable children and families, keeping contact and delivering resources to families when social care and other services have ceased all face-to-face contact.
Barnet Early Years Alliance continues to fight for its survival whilst still providing outstanding service in training and supporting the sector. We are still thriving and offering work experience for 21 Kickstarter roles as well as apprenticeships for the roles of full-time Level 3 Early Years Educator.
As part of the government’s levelling up agenda, MNS are a sound investment. Their additional value easily offsets their higher costs, and if they are not funded adequately to continue this work, there will be significant additional costs to be picked up by other services including health, social services and other parts of the education system.
Caron Rudge, executive Headteacher of the BEYA