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Doubling of free nursery hours: six policy ‘slip-ups’

Audit Scotland picks apart the government’s flagship policy for closing the attainment gap

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Audit Scotland has published a damning report into the Scottish government’s pledge to almost double free nursery hours by 2020. Under the proposals, funded hours would be increased from 600 currently to 1,140 for three- and four-year-olds, as well as some two-year-olds. But, in its Early Learning and Childcare report, the public-spending watchdog contradicts the government’s claims and calculations in six areas:

The Scottish government says the provision of 30 free nursery hours per week during term time would cost £840 million per year

  • Audit Scotland says £1 billion

In October, first ...

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