Pavilion Pre School Nursery

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Pavilion Pre School Nursery's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Pavilion Pre School Nursery is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Owner/Manager Vera Dale
Sharing a book
Owner Vera Dale says the mantra of the Pavilion Pre-
School Nursery is “quality, flexibility and affordability”
– in other words, making childcare accessible for all.
The nursery and out-of-school club is based in a small market
town in Norfolk and was founded in 1971 with just 13 children
attending each week. Today, Vera tells
The Parliamentary
, up to 172 children attend three separate buildings,
which are solely used for the nursery.
When Pavilion Pre-School first started, we were open for three half-days a
week, equating to nine hours weekly, during term time only. We are now open
from 7.30amto 6pm, 51 weeks of the year; the nursery is closed only between
Christmas and New Year. We aim to make the setting available for all parents, even
if they work to a shift pattern of employment.
When I began this business, it was very simple – not yet strangled by the red
tape that appears to be in place for mostbusinesses today, both new and those
already established. My staff are important to my nursery – without good staff, I
would not still be in business. My staff’s welfare is paramountwithin the working
environment, physically, emotionally and mentally.
I feel it would be beneficial to have nationally recognised, assessable and affordable
training, enabling employers to support their staff. Meaningful training should
be provided to staff, with regular reviews and updates. I am a big believer in the
importance of training and encourage staff to regularly expand their knowledge.
»Owner/Manager: Vera Dale
»Founded in 1971
»Located in Attleborough
»Services: Flexible and
accessible childcare
»No. of employees: 23
Pavilion Pre School
Highlighting best practice
Circumstantial funding
The government funds some two-
year-olds, depending on the family’s
circumstances, for 15 hours a week.
Three-year-olds receive the same
service for 15 hours a week. However,
if both adults in the house are working
the number of hours stipulated by
government, three-year-old children
are eligible for 30 hours of funding,
which can be used during term time or
on a pro rata basis all year round.
Government funding for children is a
way to make childcare affordable for
working parents. However, current
funding can be seen as unfair for
children born in the summer term, as
they are only entitled to three terms
of funding. If your child turns three in
the autumn term, they are eligible for
five terms, while spring-born children
qualify for four terms of funding.
Finance is one of the main trials and
tribulations of maintaining a high
standard and keeping well-trained
staff. Our nursery ethos is to try to
keep it affordable for all; however,
there is a fine line when trying to keep
the business viable.
All staff are paid the living wage,
with differentials allowing for
qualifications and length of service
to be acknowledged. It is an Ofsted
requirement that staff should be
qualified to enable the early years
children to have a good start in
education. Our staff also have to
adhere to the functional skills that go
alongside their qualification. I feel a
level one in maths is enough when
working at nursery but accept that a
level two in English is essential.
Ofsted is another hoop that I have
to jump through, although I have no
We aim to
make the
available for all
parents, even
if they work to
a shift pattern
Left: Changing the
Right: Working together
objection to being inspected. In fact,
I think it is essential, but I do object
to Ofsted inspectors working from
different criteria, when they should all
be working to the same brief. This is
particularly evident when inspections
are close together and are revealed
to be clearly influenced by inspectors’
personal views and opinions. I am also
frustrated by the fact I have to pay
three separate Ofsted fees each year
as one business. We are spread over
three sites, as there is not a building
big enough to house the nursery in its
present size. A nursery at our present
size under one roof would have one
inspection and one fee.
The government is now building new
primary schools with nursery provision.
Competition is good, but parents have
at times been told that if their child
does not attend the school nursery
class, they could not beguaranteed
a place in their reception class. It is
important not to underestimate the
importance of balancing the books –
many private nurseries have already
closed, and I am sure more will
follow.This will only restrict parents’
choice of where to send their child for
early education.
The next step of our journey
Working with children is a very
rewarding occupation. l believe it
is an honour educating the next
generation, giving them a good start in
their educational journey and getting
them confident and ready to learn as
they move onto their next stage of
education. Helping parents who need
support and working with outside
agencies can be a challenge, but the
results are verysatisfying.
One of the highlights of the business
was renovating an almost derelict
building and transforming it into a
place that is inviting for the children
and adults to be in. The next project
is to turn a large double garage into
a dining room that will enhance the
children’s experience and also help
with their transition into school.
With all the trials and tribulations, I
would not change my chosen career,
as a child’s smile says it all.
l believe it is an
educating the
next generation,
giving them a
good start in
journey and
getting them
confident and
ready to learn as
they move onto
their next stage
of education
Visiting the wider


This article was sponsored by Pavilion Pre School Nursery. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development