How academies are strengthening their early years ethos.
In March this year, Ark Start Oval, a new nursery in East Croydon, welcomed 26 families into the purpose-built nursery, which is made of recycled shipping containers. Located next to Ark Oval Primary Academy, Ark Start Oval is the second nursery opened by Art Start, charity Ark’s early years programme. The first, Ark St John Archer, opened in October 2020. Many of multi-academy trust Ark Schools’ 24 primary schools have nursery classes, but Ark Start extends provision to younger children and offers more flexible hours. Ark has invested £1.4 million in the Ark Start programme, the majority of funding coming from the DfE’s School Nurseries Capital Fund.