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 compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions below:
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.
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:
Via our online questionnaire - https://forms.office.com/e/GCHpmYxx1a
- By writing to us: Mundella Consultation, c/o Mundella Primary School, Black Bull Road, Folkestone, CT19 5QX
- By emailing us: email@example.com
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.
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 ambtition 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