Each participating school has received a grant of £10,000 for project evaluation and to offer support to other schools.
More details of how the Government intends to support schools to offer more places for two-year-olds were revealed in a written answer to a question put by shadow education minister Lucy Powell about the two-year-olds trial.
In response, Ms Truss said that the Government was working with 49 schools in from ‘a variety of urban and rural settings, that are already taking, or preparing to take two-year-olds. These schools will identify good practice, share their learning widely and encourage more schools to follow suit.’
She said that the Government wanted more schools to offer nursery places for two-year-olds because, ‘The evidence shows that starting younger, in high quality teacher-led provision, can have a real and lasting impact on children's development and life chances, particularly for those from the most disadvantaged families.'
She added, ‘We want more schools to offer nursery places and to extend these to two-year-olds. This will provide more choice and flexibility for parents and enable more children to benefit from all that a good school can provide.’
The schools in the ‘demonstration project’ have each received £10,000 for participating and offering peer-to-peer support.
Up to £2,500 of the funding is a capital grant for new buildings and expanding premises to offer the places.
The rest of the money can be used to contribute towards developing resources, and staff training and leadership.
Commenting on the trials, the Pre-school Learning Alliance said that the funding could have been better spent on existing early years settings.
Chief executive Neil Leitch said, ‘The Department for Education’s decision to offer financial incentives to schools to become involved in the delivery of the two-year-old free entitlement scheme is yet another sign of the Government’s move towards early "schoolification". Two-year-olds have very specific needs and the vast majority of the early years sector strongly agree that school is not an appropriate place for children of this age.
'There is substantial evidence that clearly demonstrates that professionally qualified early years practitioners already deliver high quality and appropriate care for this age group.
'Against a backdrop of funding shortfalls and insufficient investment for the delivery of the two-year-old offer, it is remarkable that this money wasn't invested into the well-established network of existing early years providers.’
The 49 schools taking part in the Government-funded two-year-old trial are:
Benchill Primary School
Bensham Grove Community Nursery School
Broadclyst Community Primary School
Brookside Infant School
Canklow Woods Primary School
Carr Manor Primary School
Crowmoor Primary School and Nursery
Dulwich Wood Nursery School and Children's Centre
Eden Park Primary School
Goodway Nursery School
Gooseacre Primary Academy
Handale Primary School
Hathersage St Michaels C of E (VA) Primary School
Latymer All Saints Church of England Primary School
Lever Edge Primary Academy
Lillian de Lissa Nursery School
Lord Street Community Nursery School and Preschool
Medlock Primary School
Moorgate Primary School
Nell Gwynn Nursery School
Netherfield Primary School
Newall Green Primary School
Norfolk Community Primary School
Oakwood Primary Academy
Oasis Academy Hadley
Old Church Nursery School and Children's Centre
Parbold Douglas C of E Academy
Plumberow Primary Academy
Richard Newman Primary School
Robsack Wood Community Primary School and Nursery
Shortbrook Primary School
Sir Edmund Hillary Primary School
St George's Cathedral Catholic Primary School
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St John Vianney RC Primary School
St. Bede Primary Academy
St. Mary's (C of E) Primary School
Stoneyholme Nursery School
Susan Isaacs Nursery School
The Eldon Federation (Eldon Early Years)
The Grove Nursery School, Children and Family Centre
The Orchards Nursery School
Tilery Primary School
Trimdon Grange Infant and Nursery School
Trinity Church of England Primary School
Vittoria Primary School
West View Primary School
Whitchurch CE Infant and Nursery School