“Stop cuts to nursery school funding” demanded the lead banner, as over 200 nursery school staff marched from Parliament Square to Downing Street on Tuesday 19 October.
They were carrying a 2,300-signature petition in advance of the budget, calling for secure and long-term funding for the sector.
Maintained (state) nursery schools, employing specialist early years teachers, are acknowledged as the gold standard for the education of the under-fives. They have been living a hand to mouth existence in recent years and have suffered particularly badly during the pandemic.
Organised by the National Association of Head Teachers and supported by teaching unions and early years staff, the petition was signed by almost all maintained nursery schools in the country.