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Rennie to lead nursery education summit

August 5, 2013 9:01 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

UK Government Education Minister David Laws will be sharing experienceWillie RennieWillie Rennie of expanding nursery education south of the border with leaders from the Scottish education sector at a special summit in the Scottish Parliament today (Monday).

Led by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP, the summit will see professionals share best practice from both the public and private sectors and from across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Minister David Laws will focus on the expansion of nursery education in England which will see thousands of two year olds become eligible to receive free provision from next month.

Other speakers will include Glasgow's Director of Education Maureen McKenna; Professor Susan Deacon who is credited with influencing policy and investment in children's early years development through her report "Joining the Dots"; Anand Shukla, Chief Executive of the Family and Childcare Trust; and Neil Mathers, Head of Scotland at Save the Children.

Commenting ahead of the summit, Mr Rennie said:

"This gathering of over thirty experts in early years education gives a chance for us to discuss what needs to be done to boost the support we offer children and families in Scotland.

"With UK Minister David Laws and highly respected members of the Scottish policy community attending the summit we have an opportunity to learn and share experiences.

"A quality early years education offers children the best chance to get on in life, regardless of their background. Through education we can achieve more.

"The growing body of evidence that shows helping children before the age of three is the best educational investment poses challenges for government and the education sector. It means we must reassess our priorities and invest more in nursery education.

"I have called on Ministers at Holyrood to match the steps that the UK government is taking to help two year old children in England. We will continue to press for this essential extra support."