A local authority maintained nursery generally provides education for children aged from three to five, although education could start from two if the local authority chooses to fund it. There were 423 maintained nurseries on 1 January 2011.
Employer – local authority, although in reality the governing body has actual responsibility. All teaching staff must be employed on statutory terms and conditions.
Admissions authority – local authority, although the local authority may delegate responsibility to the governing body. The legislation on admissions to primary and secondary schools generally does not apply to nursery schools.
Owner of the land and buildings – local authority. May only dispose of playing fields with the Secretary of State’s consent.
Capital funding – delegated capital and local authority.
Power to propose significant changes – the local authority may propose the transfer to a new site and closure. No other changes, for example enlargement, require statutory proposals. A nursery school cannot change category or phase.
Religious character – may not be designated with a religious character.
Governing body – has general responsibility for the conduct of the school with a view to promoting high standards of educational achievement. It is a corporate body and receives the school’s delegated budget. The governing body is composed according to the community school stakeholder model, with representatives from parents, staff, local authority and the community.
Guide to the law for school governors
Access to the login page of the Edubase system, which contains details of all educational establishments in England and Wales.