HC Deb 24 March 2003 vol 402 cc43-4W
Jeff Ennis

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many Sure Start programmes have been approved which are(a) community partnership and (b) voluntary sector-led. [102800]

Maria Eagle

To date, three Sure Start Partnerships have been approved which have a community partnership as their accountable body and 25 programmes have been approved which have a voluntary sector organisation as their accountable body.

Mr. Steinberg

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that Sure Start units have a manager with an early years teaching qualification; which senior members of staff within each Sure Start unit will have to have specialist early years teaching qualification; and whether all sure start units will(a) have at least one qualified teacher and (b) be supported by a qualified nursery nurse. [103026]

Maria Eagle

Sure Start local programmes deliver a wide range of services including health, family support, and childcare. Programme managers are recruited from a range of relevant backgrounds but above all must have strong leadership and management skills.

The new Children's centres which we are introducing from this year will provide integrated care and education for young children, health services, family support, and a base for childminders. As with Sure Start local programmes, it will be more important for the managers of these centres to have the leadership and other skills to manage a multi-disciplinary team than to have a qualification in any specific professional area.

Children's centres will be required to have strong support for the teaching and learning offered. The initial guidance issued in February says that this should be secured through either the employment of qualified teachers or developed from a base of significant input from teachers in an advisory role. Full guidance will be published in June 2003.