New Education Secretary meets Sheffield headteacher working with some of the city's most disadvantaged pupils

Grace Owen Nursery School, Park HillGrace Owen Nursery School, Park Hill
Grace Owen Nursery School, Park Hill
The new Education Secretary has met with a headteacher to discover how a Sheffield nursery school is helping support some of the city’s most disadvantaged pupils.

Gavin Williamson MP visited Sheffield for the first time yesterday under his new role as Secretary of State for Education, of which he was appointed last month.

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During his visit to the city he met with Nancy Farrow and nursery staff from Grace Owen Nursery School, which is part of the Park Hill Estate and is one of the city’s most disadvantaged areas.

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As a maintained nursery school, Grace Owen receives supplementary funding from the Department for Education in recognition of the role it plays supporting some of the most disadvantaged children in the country.

Nearly 40 per cent of the children who attend Grace Owen are eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium, compared to the national average of 11.4 per cent.

In February, the government announced an additional investment – worth £24 million – for maintained nursery schools, giving them certainty for the 2019-20 academic year, ahead of a Spending Review.

Mr Williamson discussed the nursery’s work in engaging families in the estate and the surrounding area

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The Education Secretary said “Children only get one chance at a good education. This must start in the very earliest years because a child’s development at age five can determine their chances later in life, which is why we are investing £3.5 billion in our early education entitlements this year alone.

“I’m grateful to the dedicated staff at Grace Owen Nursery for the important work they do in giving children the best start and putting them on a path to succeed.”