§ Mr. Hunter
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what research into the education of under-fives is currently being supported by his Department; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir Keith Joseph
I have asked Professor Margaret Clark of Birmingham University to carry out a critical evaluation of research into the education of under-fives undertaken over recent years — and she has agreed. There is now a very substantial amount of research findings available in this field and there is a need, which I believe is shared by academics, practitioners, administrators and elected members of LEAs, to take stock and assess the validity and significance of the results of this research. I should emphasise that this does not imply any expansion of expenditure provision for the education of this age group: the objectives are to assist those who wish to refer to existing research, to guide future policy on research in this area, and ultimately to facilitate better deployment of existing resources. Professor Clark has been asked to let the Department have her report by September 1986. She alone will be personally responsible for the judgments and opinions expressed.