Mundella Pre-School

Welcome everybody,

Mundella joined the Veritas Multi Academy Trust (MAT) in 2021 and, as part of our ongoing strategy to support the children and families in Folkestone, we are proposing to extend the provision at Mundella Primary School to include the creation of a Pre-School for children from three years of age.

We appreciate local families, with and without children, our neighbours, local residents, and local early years providers will have a number of questions. To help answer some of your initial queries we have provided a range of helpful items, below, and compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions. 

Mr Westmorland

Summary of Consultation Findings

Here is a link to a document containing information about the consultation findings. Below is a summary of the same information. You can still use this email should you wish to comment or contribute towards the successful opening of our Pre-School.

Introduction – Consultation Purpose and Approach

The purpose of the consultation was to seek stakeholder views on Mundella Primary School’s proposal to lower the age range from 4-11 to 3-11 in order to be able to open a pre-school nursery class at Mundella with effect from 1 September 2024.

The consultation process took place over a period of five weeks from Monday 29 January 2024 to Monday 4 March 2024.

The consultation process complied fully with the 2018 Cabinet Office principles for a fair and open consultation. Veritas Multi Academy Trust sought to consult with a wide range of stakeholders, to ensure that as many people as possible were aware of the proposal and had the opportunity for their views to be captured. Below provides an overview of key stakeholders targeted as part of the consultation process:

  • Local nurseries near to Mundella Primary School (Folkestone East area)
  • All Folkestone primary, secondary and special schools
  • Schools within the Trust & staff – including Trustees and Governors
  • The local Member of Parliament
  • Representatives from Kent County Council, including Folkestone & Hythe Councillors
  • Parents and/or carers of pupils at Mundella Primary School
  • Local businesses near to Mundella Primary School
  • Local media
  • Any other interested member of the community, including prospective parents and/or carers

In order to ensure that the consultation had a wide reach, a number of communication and consultation methods were used to promote engagement in the process. These included:

  • The establishment of a dedicated consultation area on the school’s website -
  • Targeted letters to the above identified stakeholders
  • An advert in the Folkestone Herald newspaper – average readership 5,722 (JICREG 2022)
  • A consultation & information event which took place on 22 February 2024 from 3pm to 7pm
  • Posters displayed in local business windows
  • Establishment of a display outlining the proposal in the entrance area at Mundella Primary School
  • Establishment of a dedicated consultation email:

Good practice states that a variety of feedback mechanisms should be used, including opportunities for those without access to technology. Consequently, four means were established:

  • Email address –
  • Survey
  • By post - Mundella Consultation, C/O Mundella Primary School, Black Bull Road, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 5QX
  • In person at the consultation event


Analysis of Consultation Responses

A total of 26 responses were received via the online survey. All responses were received before the advertised close of the consultation period and were therefore included for analysis. Analysis of responses indicates that respondents are overwhelmingly positive and in favour of the Trust’s proposals to change the age range from 4-11 to 3-11 in order to open pre-school nursery provision at Mundella Primary School.

What follows is a report on the findings to the questions asked, including an analysis of the key themes from the free-text comments.


Strongly agree


Strongly agree / Agree combined


Strongly disagree

  1. There is a need for additional pre-school nursery provision for children aged 3 years and above within the local area











  1. I support Mundella’s proposals to change its age range from 4-11 to 3-11 and open a pre-school nursery class at Mundella Primary School











  1. I am confident that Mundella Primary School have the necessary facilities and space to be able to open a pre-school nursery class











  1. I am confident that Mundella Primary School have the necessary expertise and experience to be able to open a pre-school nursery class











In addition to the above questions, 17 respondents also responded to the following question:





  1. I would send my child to Mundella’s proposed pre-school







Analysis of free-text comments for the overwhelming majority in support of the proposals identified the following themes / reasons:

  • Confidence in the school and the quality of education at Mundella. As one respondent stated ‘I trust Mundella to do a good job’.
  • Convenience for parents and/or carers, particularly in relation to ‘school runs’.
  • Support and improve transition into Reception year.
  • The need for additional, high quality pre-school nursery places within the local area.

Not all those who were not in support provided feedback as to their reasons. Below is a summary of key reasons cited by the small minority not in support:

  • One respondent (a pre-school provider) stated that they did not feel there was a need for additional pre-school provision. However, as evidenced above, this view is in the minority, with 85% of respondents either strongly agreeing or agreeing that there is a need for additional pre-school provision.
  • Two respondents cited Mundella Primary School’s 2020 Ofsted inspection and the requires improvement judgement as their main reason. The Trust is fully aware of this perceived concern. This judgement was prior to the school joining the Veritas Multi Academy Trust on 1 September 2021 and technically relates to the predecessor school. Since joining the Trust, a significant amount has been done to act on the areas identified by Ofsted, including in relation to the early years provision. Since the 2020 inspection an experienced early years leader has been appointed as an Assistant Headteacher and oversees the quality of education in early years. The Trust has a proven track-record of excellence and school improvement. For example, in the recent 2022 Ofsted inspection of Pilgrims Way Primary School (another school within the Trust), early years provision was judged to be ‘outstanding’.  Since joining the Trust in September 2021, Mundella has worked in close collaboration with Pilgrims Way and the Trust is confident that Mundella’s first inspection as part of the Veritas Multi Academy Trust will result in at least a good judgement, including for early years provision. In summary, we therefore feel that this concern does not reflect the current quality of education at Mundella. This proposal process has brought to the surface that some within the local community still have a perception of Mundella based on an historic judgement. We remain committed to engaging with the local community to promote the improvements at Mundella and will continue to do this should the proposal be approved.

In addition to the 26 responses received via the online survey, one joint response was received via the dedicated email address from Folkestone Town Cllrs Jane Darling and Lucy McGirr. This response was following their attendance at the consultation & information event on 22 February. In support of the proposals, both commented ‘We formed the view that there is an unqualified commitment to this proposal, and that the reasons for a pre-school class are compelling. We agree with the statements made on the Mundella School website about the need for, and benefits of pre-school places for children… We have no hesitation in supporting the proposal for a pre-school class at Mundella School, on behalf of the Labour Folkestone Town Councillors.’

As part of the consultation, the survey also sought views on the factors that stakeholders consider when deciding where to send their child(ren) for pre-school. Analysis of free-text comments identified the following factors:

  • Importance of consistency and routines
  • Location – including distance from home
  • The facilities on offer – including both indoor and outdoor provision
  • Highly trained, experienced, welcoming and friendly staff
  • Reputation, including external validation (i.e. Ofsted inspection)
  • Curriculum offer

Should the proposal to lower the age range and open a pre-school nursery class be approved by the Trust, the above factors will be important considerations as part of the pre and post-opening phase of the provision.


The consultation process achieved its aim of engaging with a range of stakeholders to seek their views on the proposal to lower the age range from 4-11 to 3-11 in order to be able to open a pre-school nursery class at Mundella. Through this engagement, the Trust is now further aware of what it needs to deliver in order to meet expectation and respond to the needs of the community.

As has been outlined on the preceding pages, there has been considerable support received for the proposal; with 85% of respondents either strongly agreeing or agreeing with Mundella’s proposals. Additionally, this consultation has indicated that there is a need for additional provision for children aged 3 years and above within the local area.

As a result of the consultation, it is recommended that the Trust proceed with the submission of a full business case to the Department for Education (DfE) to seek permission to change the age range and open a pre-school nursery class in September 2024.

Despite the consultation period ending on 4 March 2024, we remain committed to continuing to engage with stakeholders throughout the pre-opening phase of the pre-school nursery class and beyond – should the DfE approve the business case. As the project moves forward, Mundella Primary School’s website will be used to update stakeholders on the development of the pre-school nursery provision, in readiness for its opening in September 2024.

Consultation: Getting Involved

We are looking forward to welcoming you all to get involved the Pre-School, either through meetings, communicating via our survey, email or personally and chatting to members of staff and governors. Doing so will allow you to share in and develop the main strategies and actions that will help us create a Pre-School that suits needs of our fantastic community.

In order for the next steps in our future to be successful, it is important that you get involved and take the opportunity to contribute to the process as much as possible.

Consultation Contact

Email -

Why are we looking to open a Pre-School?

The provision for pre-school places, in East Folkestone, has reduced over the last couple of years, not least since the closure of the Nursery based at Saga. As many people have asked about provision at 3 years of age, we have been looking at the idea of supporting our families with a pre-school for a number of years.

In the summer term of 2023 we sought feedback from families regarding nursery provision in the area which indicated a desire for pre-school nursery provision at Mundella Primary School. Following on from this, we have been engaged in discussions with Kent County Council and are now at the point of seeking wider feedback on proposals to change the age-range from 4-11 to 3-11 in order to be able to open a pre-school nursery class at Mundella.  

The Trustees and Governors of Veritas Multi Academy trust believe that the opening of a pre-school nursery class will directly benefit the children and families within the local community, through the provision of a high-quality, safe and nurturing education environment for children from 3 years old. It will also enable families to use their 15 hours per week universal entitlement to funded early education for 3 to 4 year olds during term time. 

Now that exciting new building projects (our new playground, entrance and offices) have all but been completed, we are in a position to consult with our community about what the pre-school offer, at Mundella Primary School, should look like.

Why do you have to hold a public consultation?

Mundella Primary School is currently able to serve pupils from the ages of 4-11. 

In order to open a pre-school, the Department for Education (DfE) require Mundella and Veritas Multi Academy Trust, to submit a business case to change the age designation of the school from 4-11 years to 3-11 years, in order to welcome children in the nursery from 3-4 years old by creating a Foundation Stage Unit (FSU) within the school, from September 2024 (timesclaes dependent).

A public consultation is required for any change to a school or academy's status, which must run for a minimum period of 4 weeks.

How can I share my views?

It's hugely important we hear from all stakeholders regarding this project. We invite you to share your thoughts and feedback on the pre-school and there are a number of ways to provide feedback:

  • By emailing us:

This will help us to understand how best the nursery can serve the demands of the local area. If there's any further feedback you would like to share, please contact us via the dedicated email address above.

Important Dates

Monday 29th January 2024 - Public Consultation Opens

Thursday 22nd February 2024 - Public Consultation Event, drop in between 3.00pm to 7.00pm

Families, local residents, the local community, local businesses and the general public are all invited to drop-in to attend and meet with the team at Mundella and the Veritas Multi Academy Trust, our Governors and Trustees to hear more about our exciting plans for a pre-school on the Mundella site. 

Monday 4th March 2024 - Public Consultation Closes

Our consultation will allow current and potential parents and/or carers, staff and governors, local authority representatives, local councillors and other elected officials, local residents, businesses and any other interested parties to learn more about our proposal and to share their views. 

The Trust are using the Cabinet Office’s consultation principles to help guide the consultation process.

Will the proposal have any impact on the school's current admission arrangements?

In short, no. Currently Mundella Primary School offers 30 places for each year from Reception to Year 6. The capacity in the school from Reception to Year 5 is not impacted by this consultation.  

In line with the DfE’s Schools Admission Code 2021, we would be unable to provide an automatic right for children attending proposed pre-school the nursery class to gain a reception place at the Mundella. Parents of children applying for a reception place would need to apply in the normal way for admission to Mundella whether their child attended the nursery provision or not. However, we would hope that the majority of families would be successful should they choose to apply to reception class at Mundella Primary School. 

Where will the proposed pre-school class be located?

A dedicated indoor and outdoor space within the school has already been identified for the potential location of the pre-school nursery class. In addition to having a dedicated outdoor space to itself, the children would also benefit from having access to the new playground equipment which was completed in September 2023 as part of the playground transformation project. We have already undertaken a review of the space to ensure that it meets with the DfE’s statutory requirements regarding early years space, including toileting. The work that we have identified would not necessitate planning permission being required.  

Following the outcome of the consultation, work will commence on transforming this indoor and outdoor space with the ambition that it is ready to welcome its first children in September 2024.

How do you propose to staff the pre-school nursery?

Staffing ratios and arrangements (including ensuring that staff have the appropriate qualifications, training and experience) will be informed by statutory guidelines. Within the school and the Trust there are many staff who have the expertise, passion, experience and necessary qualifications to work within the pre-school nursery class. In addition to the staff who would be working within the pre-school nursery class, Mundella’s Assistant Headteacher and Early Years Lead, Louisa Blunden, would directly oversee the provision.  

Who are Veritas Multi Academy Trust?

Mundella Primary School joined the Veritas family in 2021, joining two other local Kent primary schools, Warden House Primary School in Deal and Pilgrims' Way Primary School in Canterbury.

Veritas MAT is committed to the vision of providing learning irresistible for all pupils across our trust schools. Our ethos is to grow a family of schools that work together to support the values of being innovative, inclusive and inspirational. 

Read more about Veritas here

Our schools maintain a character that is rooted in their community. This makes each school distinct, while sharing core values and benefiting from joined up ways of working. Sharing  the best practice across our schools to strengthen the outcomes for our children.

Above all, we want our children, our staff and our communities to feel the excitement that education brings. This is achieved through connections and networks both within schools, across schools and beyond the trust. Building a culture of outward facing research-informed practice in all we do.

We thrive on educational networks. Through the links with Canterbury Christ Church University and the Chartered College of Teaching, we lead on research practice across East Kent. Providing opportunities for staff across our trust and beyond to deepen their evidence informed practice through research groups and events including teach meets and journal clubs.

We have also formed a network of trusts that support one another, providing a wider family of support for our schools. This has connected staff across our schools to other trusts, building relationships and widening the network of professional conversations across Kent.

If you would like to find out more about Veritas MAT, please talk to me. Whether you are a parent of a child in one of our schools, a member of the community our schools serve, or a potential employee interested in joining our family of staff.  

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Kerry Jordan-Daus, CEO

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