HC Deb 07 March 1996 vol 273 cc348-9W
Mr. Deva

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what arrangements have been made for the inspection of funded nursery education, as proposed in the Nursery Education and Grant-Maintained Schools Bill. [20023]

Mr. Robin Squire

Subject to its passage through Parliament and royal assent, the Bill will place upon Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England the duty of securing the inspection of funded nursery education, or nursery education under consideration for funding, provided at any premises. The chief inspector will also be required to maintain a register of nursery education inspectors for England and ensure that they satisfactorily complete a course of training. In order for inspections to commence from the autumn term of this year, the office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England, Ofsted, must begin work immediately on the development of procedures for the recruitment and training of the inspectors.

Parliamentary approval to this new service is subject to the passage of the Bill to Royal Assent. Pending that approval, urgent essential expenditure in 1995–96 estimated at £75,000 will be met by advances from the contingencies fund, to be repaid from the 1996–97 Ofsted vote—class IX, vote 4.