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More than half of England’s maintained nursery schools are struggling to cover core costs

Maintained nursery schools, like other early years providers, struggle to cover their costs from government funding. In April and May, sector body Early Education carried out an online survey of maintained nursery schools, in association with NAHT, NEU and UNISON.

The survey found:

  • more than half of all maintained nursery schools in England had an in-year deficit in 2021-22
  • 28% had a cumulative deficit
  • only 4 in ten (41%) had been able to set a balanced budget for 2022-23 
  • 44% could not set a balanced budget and
  • 15% didn’t yet know if they were able to.


NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said:

“The confirmation of a long-term funding commitment for maintained nursery schools was very welcome. However, it is clear that this alone will not address the issues the sector is facing. What we now need to see is a review of how funding is distributed, as well as immediate financial support for those nurseries facing the biggest financial challenges. Successive governments have pledged their commitment to the maintained nurseries, now is the time to match that commitment with actions and secure their long-term future.”

Find out more and download the survey here.

Find out more about NAHT’s campaign to Fix School Funding.

First published 29 June 2022

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NAHT Life gives you the opportunity to continue your membership of the biggest union for school leaders both in post and in retirement.


NAHT Life focuses on helping retired members receive excellent trade union services and allows you to continue to play an active volunteer role within NAHT regions and branches, if that’s what you choose to do!

Please note to qualify for the benefits of NAHT Life membership you must join NAHT life within six months of retiring. 

Please ensure NAHT has your correct post-retirement contact details.

NAHT is currently reviewing, renewing and refreshing its services to support NAHT life member.

The Life Members' Sector Council (LMSC)

Whether leaving a labour of love or embracing a life of leisure, there can be no doubt that retirement from school leadership marks a huge change in lifestyle. There will be adjustments to make, new challenges to take and a range of new opportunities. At a time like this, it is important that our experienced members do not lose all the support they received in their working life. Our life members’ committee is here to ensure members are supported in retirement.

This committee feeds its extensive wealth of experience and know-how to support the work of NAHT. It also gives our life members the chance to make important contributions to our campaigns for working members.  

The committee, which meets four times a year, is made up of one elected representative from each of our regions, with the addition of one place each for Northern Ireland and Wales. And these elected committee members, normally, serve a three-year term.

Areas of focus for the committee include the following: 

  • Current legislation issues eg pension provision
  • Action against discrimination, including age discrimination.
LMSC chair

John Killeen (National Executive member): john.killeen@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC vice-chair

Nigel Patton: nigel.patton@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC communications officer

Michael Wilson: Michael.wilson@nahtofficials.org.uk

LMSC deputy communications officer

Eugene Symonds: eugene.symonds@nahtofficials.org.uk

Committee servicing officer

Frances Geddes has the responsibility for working closely with the LMSC as servicing officer. She can be contacted via email frances.geddes@naht.org.uk.

For further details and contact information about all current LMSC members please check out ‘Who’s who’ and the ‘List of LMSC members'.

See also

Join now - Life Membership 
Life membership FAQs
Life members' sector council
Update Your Details
Tax relief
Pensions advice
Who's who