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Volume 471: debated on Wednesday 30 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 16 January 2008, Official Report, columns 1269-70W, on education, what the names are of the four unregistered settings referred to in the answer. (182608)

The current registration requirements only apply to independent schools that offer full-time education. There is currently no requirement for part-time providers to register. As every child is entitled to full-time education, parents, local authorities or others will, where appropriate, need to supplement part-time provision to ensure that children receive their full education entitlement.

There is currently no statutory definition of ‘part-time’ and ‘full-time’ education in terms of hours or days spent studying and we understand that the providers named as follows provide a large proportion, and in some cases all, of their pupils’ education provision. We believe that settings where children receive a substantial proportion of their education should be regulated with a light touch compared to schools in the maintained sector, but that it should still be ensured that the premises are safe. We think it important that all necessary personnel suitability checks are completed, appropriate child welfare arrangements are in place, and children learn and make progress. We are confident that any goodquality provision will meet the independent school standards as they are flexible enough to cover many different types of provision. There is no requirement to follow the national curriculum, or to employ teachers with qualified teacher status, for example.

We have no comprehensive record of part-time providers of education. The responses to our consultation suggested that there are some settings we are unaware of that may need to register under current proposals. Before the new legislation comes into force, we will work with any institution that will need to register to ensure it is clear about our requirements and time scales.

The four unregistered settings, in the same order as they appeared in my previous answer, are as follows:

Tyndale Academy;

Headstart Learning Centre;

The Children’s Garden;

Kid’s Company.