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Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1998

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Plans for pre-school educationN.I.

17.—(1) Within such time after the coming into operation of this Article as the Department may direct, [F1the Authority] shall prepare and submit to the Department a plan for the provision (whether by [F1the Authority] or by other persons) of pre-school education for children F2... in such period as may be specified in the plan.

(2) In preparing a plan under paragraph (1) [F1the Authority] shall, in accordance with arrangements approved by the Department, consult bodies and persons likely to be affected by the plan.

(3) In preparing a plan under paragraph (1) [F1the Authority] shall take into account any guidance given by the Department as to the provisions it regards as appropriate for inclusion in a plan under that paragraph.

(4) The Department may, after making such modifications (if any) in a plan submitted to it by [F1the Authority] as after consultation with [F1the Authority] it considers necessary or expedient, approve the plan.

(5) It shall be the duty of [F1the Authority] to give effect to the provisions of a plan under paragraph (1) as approved by the Department.

(6) Where—

(a)[F1the Authority] fails to submit a plan to the Department under paragraph (1) by the date directed by the Department; or

(b)it appears to the Department that a plan submitted by [F1the Authority] as required by that paragraph does not accord with any guidance given by the Department under paragraph (3) and cannot be made to do so merely by modifying it,

the Department may, after consultation with [F1the Authority] and such other persons as appear to the Department to be concerned, make a plan which shall be treated for the purposes of paragraphs (5) and (7) as if it had been prepared by [F1the Authority] and approved by the Department under this Article.

(7) [F1The Authority] may at any time, and shall if the Department so directs, prepare and submit to the Department a revised plan and paragraphs (2) to (6) shall apply in relation to any revised plan as they apply in relation to the original plan.

(8) In this Part “pre-school education” means education provided for a child (whether at a school or any other premises) at any time—

(a)after he has attained the age of 2 years; and

(b)before he has attained compulsory school age,

otherwise than in a reception class as defined by Article 18(4)(b) of the [1997 NI 5.] Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1997.

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