Education Secretary Ruth Kelly has walked into a fresh row over the Government's Sure Start programme.

The MP was jeered as she arrived to open the Tarner Children's Centre in Ivory Place, Brighton, yesterday.

Ministers want to set up 57 new children's centres across Sussex over the next three years under the multi-million-pound Sure Start Scheme.

But the first independent report into Sure Start's effectiveness has found no overall improvement in the development of deprived children.

The Tories have called on the Government to publish the complete findings of the study by Birkbeck College after they were leaked to a national newspaper on Monday.

But Ms Kelly told The Argus : "The report will be published in due course and that will be an appropriate time to comment.

"But I am sure these centres will make a positive difference to all those involved."

The Government has earmarked £2.3 million for nine new children's centres in Brighton and Hove between 2006 and 2008.

East Sussex is being given £3.7 million to build 18 more, and West Sussex is to get £5.5 million for 30 centres.

The "snapshot" study by Birkbeck College, due to be published next month, found no improvements in youngsters' linguistic or behavioural development.

The Sure Start scheme has been a flagship policy in the Government's attempts to tackle deprived areas.

It has cost £3.1 billion since it was launched in 2001 and the expansion in the number of children's centres, from 524 to 3,500 by 2010, was a key plank of Labour's election manifesto in May.

Tory spokeswoman Theresa May said: "Efforts must be made to ensure children grow up in good health and in houses where adults are working but it's obvious that Sure Start is not delivering the benefits which it intended.

"This scheme costs taxpayers millions of pounds and the Government needs to look at it very carefully.

"The full findings of the report must be published as a matter of urgency."

Ms Kelly was also faced with angry parents who protested outside the centre over claims their children do not get any choice for secondary school placements.

Father-of-two Gordon Blyth, 46, of Queens Park, Brighton, said: "We gave Ms Kelly a dossier explaining everything and we would like her to read it."