§ Sir David Steel
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the provision of nursery education in Scotland.
§ Mr. Lang
The Government have no plans to impose a statutory duty on education authorities to provide nursery education. In our view local authorities are best able to decide the most appropriate level of nursery school provision in their areas, taking into account local needs and circumstances. The Government provide local authorities with resources to fund education through the aggregate external finance settlement. Under these arrangements, local authorities have the opportunity to increase nursery education spending where they view this as a priority.