§ Mr. Kirkwood
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what resources are to be made available to local education authorities in 1998–99 to provide nursery education after the current voucher scheme ends. 
§ Mr. Wilson
[holding answer 9 March 1998]: Total programme resources for pre-school education in 1998–99 are £75.6 million. Net of overheads and the cost of the final term of voucher grants for school year 1997–98, there will be approximately £50.6 million available to fund the first two terms of the 1998–99 school session and any other initiatives in pre-school education.
Using sources of funding other than pre-school education grant, local authorities have budgeted to spend a further £50.4 million on pre-school education in 1997–98. Authorities will be free to spend similar amounts in 1998–99 (net of the £13.6 million removed from the 1998–99 local government finance settlement to fund the final phase of the pre-school vouchers scheme).