HC Deb 06 March 1996 vol 273 c226W
Mr. Mills

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what will be the level of provision per pupil under the Government's proposed nursery scheme for(a) year 1, (b) year 2 and (c) year 3, for those pupils (i) aged three-and-a-half-years, (ii) in reception class and (iii) aged four years; and how this figure compares with the current provision. [18799]

Mr. Robin Squire

Local education authority budgets will be reduced only by the voucher value for every four-year-old in maintained provision. They will receive £1,100 for every full voucher redeemed at a local authority-maintained school. If LEA-maintained schools recruit the same number of four-year-olds as now, then their budgets will be unaffected. Moreover, if they currently spend above the voucher value on places for four-year-olds, or on provision for three-year-olds, the funding mechanism ensures that they retain the funds to continue doing so. They will, therefore, continue to be able to fund pre-school places at existing levels.

The expansion of provision will be largely driven by parental choice and is expected to become universal for four-year-olds within a reasonable time.