We have been discussing with schools the possible implications for individual school budgets of joining Phase 1. These discussions have identified that existing nursery schools and classes might suffer substantial budget reductions, unless a way can be found to make protection of existing nursery budgets a priority within the overall voucher income received locally.
Before the education committee decides on November 30 about entering Phase 1, consultation with governing bodies will take place. One option could result in the protection of existing nursery budgets.
You were right to say that our policy has been to develop nursery classes in one school to serve the area of several. This leads us to consider pooling voucher income in those schools to protect the nursery class not, as your editorial implied, the opposite.
Chief education officer Buckinghamshire County Council