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Dorking Nursery School and CC going from strength to strength in Surrey

Dorking Nursery School and Children’s Centre (DNSCC) is one of four maintained nursery schools in Surrey. The future of Maintained Nursery Schools across the country has been a topic of discussion for some time and DNSCC’s Headteacher, Donna Harwood-Duffy, has been advocating for the sustainable future of maintained nursery schools in Surrey. Donna is recognised as a leader in early years education, locally and nationally and has worked tirelessly to ensure the right messages get to the right people at both in Surrey and at a National level.

There is now recognition of the crucial role that the four Maintained Nursery Schools play in Surrey in terms of expertise of staff, SEND and quality of provision. Surrey have therefore, made a commitment to find ways to make the Nursery Schools sustainable for the future.

DNSCC is the only school rated as outstanding and has been for the last six Ofsted inspections. Dorking is also designated as a National Training Support School, selected to support schools in challenging circumstances.

In order to preserve Chertsey Nursery School as one of Surrey’s Maintained Nursery Schools, Surrey has asked DNSCC to provide a leadership structure and support to Chertsey Nursery School and Children’s Centre. Beginning in September 2018, Donna Harwood-Duffy will become the Executive Headteacher for both Chertsey and Dorking Nursery Schools and Children's Centre's. In addition to her role as DNSCC substantive Headteacher, Donna will continue to provide much-needed leadership and strategic direction to Chertsey, as she does now in her role as National Leader of Education working with and supporting other schools.

Surrey recognises the outstanding services DNSCC staff provide to the Dorking community and in the spirit of collaboration, teamwork and community, Donna will share the best practices developed at Dorking. Many of DNSCC families have been attending for multiple generations and some of its staff have been with the school and children’s centre for decades. DNSCC serves the local community by providing a foundation for Dorking families and for children who live in outlying areas.

To support both Chertsey and Donna, a Head of School will be appointed at Chertsey to lead the school on a day to day basis to enable Donna to remain as substantive Headteacher and focus her efforts and time at DNSCC. Donna will be based at Chertsey one day a week to provide support to the Head of School and Governing Body.

Surrey recognises the brilliant work DNSCC does, its positive impact on families and the outstanding outcomes delivered for local children. It is our shared goal to support Surrey’s maintained nursery schools in replicating these results for Chertsey’s children and families.