Opening a Nursery class

Guidance for head teachers planning to open a nursery class

If you are thinking of opening a nursery class at your school, here are some useful questions for you to consider before going ahead. Further detail is given in Establishing a Nursery Class Guidance Pack (pdf format, 330Kb)

Checklist of issues to consider

Number of places

How many places would you offer?

Would these be full or part time? Would you offer wrap round? Possible charges? Would you envisage the nursery expanding (at some stage) to take 2 year olds?

The total number of places determines the number of staff and qualifications and size of space; funding is based upon numbers so it is important to have a clear idea of how realistic the number of children you might have on roll

Guidance for ratios of staffing to numbers can be found in The Statutory Framework for the EYFS.


Have you an appropriate space/environment for younger children?

What about resources, would you need to purchase age appropriate resources to provision? Does the environment include indoors in addition to outside? How this would impact upon the reception children e.g. is it in the same area?

Guidance on space and suitable environments is found in The Statutory Framework for the EYFS.


Have you considered the number of staff you would require to run and organise a nursery class? Maybe you already have existing staff in school with the appropriate qualifications who would be working in this class? Would you need to recruit?

Guidance on qualifications and staff training is found in The Statutory Framework for the EYFS.


Is opening a nursery class viable? Have you costed it? Would it be sustainable? Thinking about costs of staffing (possible recruitment); numbers of children; resources etc.

Have you involved all the governors/trustees?

The governing body or trustees need to be fully supportive of opening a nursery class, they need to be sure of the benefits for the school, parents and children and wider community, including local pre-school settings. What do parents want?

Merger with an on-site pre-school

If the governing body decide to request a merger, they will need to attend the pre-school EGM and be prepared to transfer staff according to TUPE arrangements.

Further detail can be found on the pre-school closures page

Register an interest

Register your interest in opening a nursery class with us for further guidance and support. Contact:

Key documentation