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Blow for schools missing out on share of £22m nursery funding

By Richard Guttridge | Wolverhampton | Education | Published:

Five Black Country schools have missed out on crucial Government funding for new nursery places.

A number of schools have lost out on funding towards boosting the number of nursery places

Not a single school across Wolverhampton which applied for a share of a £22 million funding pot was successful.

The snub has dealt a blow to city schools and left education bosses searching for alternative funding opportunities.

The schools that missed out were Lanesfield Primary, Springdale Primary, St Andrew's CoE Primary, St Michael's CoE Primary and Warstones Primary.

Lanesfield and Springdale were planning refurbishments, while the other three were hoping for cash to help fund new-build projects.

Less than half of schools from across the country which applied for cash to boost nursery places were successful. A total of 66 will be allocated extra funding.

The Department for Education (DfE) said bids underwent a "rigorous assessment process" and that "only those applications which could show they met the priorities of the bidding round have been successful".

Pat McFadden

Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden, who has called on the Government to make more funding available for nurseries over recent years, said children in the city would "lose out".

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He said: "Nothing is more important than giving young children the best start in life and high quality nursery education helps to make that happen.

"Nursery schools are engines of social mobility, learning and opportunity. If they are properly funded, they can make an amazing difference. But if they are not, we are cutting back on opportunity itself.

"It is bad news that the nurseries in Wolverhampton have missed out on these latest funding bids and the people who will lose out from this decision will be the youngest children in our city.”

Councillor Mike Hardacre, education boss at Wolverhampton Council, said: “While we are naturally disappointed these bids have been unsuccessful we are confident that it will not stop the good work that the schools are already doing for their youngest pupils."

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Russells Hall Primary in Dudley also missed out on money for a new build.

There was better news elsewhere in the Black Country, with Goldsmith Primary in Walsall given the green light for a new build and Victoria Park Primary in Smethwick granted funding for a refurbishment.

The £22 million will help schools boost nursery places in areas with high numbers of families who get free school meals, the DfE said. New places will be created through new builds and expansions of schools already rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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