Consultation on the proposal that Solebay Primary Academy should continue to operate a nursery class

Consultation opens: Friday 11 January 2019, 9am.

Solebay Primary Academy (11 Solebay Street, London, E1 4PW) transferred to Paradigm Trust in September 2014. The predecessor school did not offer nursery places. Paradigm places great value on the importance of early years education and, given this, indicated to the Department for Education (DfE), prior to transfer, that it intended to open a nursery class at Solebay, as soon as the school had stabilised. DfE was supportive of this approach. Paradigm also corresponded with, and provided a business case to, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which also supported the provision of nursery places at Solebay. However, due to an administrative oversight prior to September 2014, the funding agreement between the DfE and Paradigm Trust specified an inaccurate age range (4 to 11 years, rather than 3 to 11 years).

In order to regularise the existing position, Paradigm intends, subject to this consultation process, to make an application to the DfE for its funding agreement to be retrospectively modified to state an operating age range of 3 to 11 years, rather than 4 to 11 years.

The proposal is that Solebay will continue to offer nursery places, as it currently does, beyond September 2019. It is envisaged that the number of places will be capped at 26 part-time places in the morning, and 26 part-time places in the afternoon, although the school is committed to working closely with parents/carers to offer high quality full time places and/or extended day provision, if there is demand from parents/carers for this.

The nursery class was mentioned very positively in Ofsted’s (March 2016) inspection report (which graded early years provision as ‘outstanding’): In the Nursery and Reception classes, children make excellent progress from their starting points. Ofsted also visited Solebay as part of research for an early years survey report. Solebay performs strongly as a school – it was graded ‘good’ overall by Ofsted and Y6 pupils in summer 2018 made progress in line with the top 20% of pupils nationally. In addition, the school was singled out by DfE for its excellent performance in the Y1 phonics check last summer.

No changes to admissions criteria are proposed.

The Trust has planning consent to operate provision for up to 350 pupils on the Solebay site. If demand for places in reception through to year 6 were to increase, we would reduce the number of nursery places offered to ensure that the planning conditions were respected.

If you wish to respond to this consultation, please email:

Consultation closes: 9am, Friday 8 February 2019.

Last updated January 11, 2019