Hartlepool primary school wins government funding for extra nursery places

Dozens of new nursery places are to be created at a Hartlepool primary school after securing significant government funding.

By Mark Payne
Sunday, 14 July, 2019, 16:30
Stranton Primary school early years staff and pupils. Picture by Frank Reid

Stranton Primary School, in Stockton Road, will be able to cater for around 50 extra youngsters aged between two and five.

It is to get a new building after making a successful bid to the government’s School Nurseries Capital fund as part of the creation of up to 1,800 new school-based nursery places in disadvantaged areas backed by a £22 million investment.

Stranton Primary School headteacher Neil Nottingham at the area where the new early years building is to be built. Picture by Frank Reid

Stranton Primary School, is in the top 1% most deprived wards nationally and over 70% of pupils receive free school meals.

Headteacher Neil Nottingham said: “There was a need there so in conjunction with the local authority we put a bid in to try to fill the gap.

“This is going to allow us to have a purpose-built early years provision that will meet the needs of children from two to five.

“I’m absolutely delighted that our bid was successful.

“As a school, we do so much for our local community and the parents.

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“We have already been taking in two-year-old children for four years and have made such a difference.

“We are looking forward to doing it for more children and having a real impact on their lives.”Stranton Primary is one of only seven North East schools and 66 nationally given the green light.

Its new building will also include an area where parents can get help to develop skills to boost their chances of finding employment.

“Part of our bid was to support parents with word readiness opportunities,” added Mr Nottingham.

“While the children are having nursery provision we can work with parents to develop their skills and try to gain employment.

“The whole point is to try to get children into school earlier and support parents at the same time.”

The Department for Education says more than one in four children still leaves Reception without the key communication skills they need to thrive, with most coming from low income families.

It is hoped work on Stranton’s new nursery building will start in September or October, and be ready to welcome their first intake of youngsters from next Easter.