The DfE have confirmed that a consultation on the future of children’s centres has been delayed. They did not give a reason for the hold-up but said the exercise is still scheduled to go ahead. Details are to be announced "in due course", the spokesman said.
Michael Pavey, director of campaign group Labour Friends of Sure Start, said the delay will have implications on local authorities' decision making for the financial year 2016/17 and said that
"The delay is very disappointing. It was always taken in good faith that there would be an open and honest conversation with the DfE. It is inconceivable as to why it has been delayed. The consultation's findings could have fed through into local authority's budgets for the year ahead."
Kate Mulley, director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, said the charity has been "keenly awaiting" the consultation and further details on government plans.
“The government needs to demonstrate their commitment to children’s centres and provide a bold vision for the role they can play in helping all children achieve their full potential. An outcomes framework to set a clear direction for centres and a focus on supporting children in their earliest years would be a welcome centrepiece of the government’s approach.”