§ 33. Mr. Edwin Wainwright
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many places have been provided in nursery schools in South Yorkshire during each of the past five years; what has been the cost in each year; and if he will make a statement about the present and future programme.
§ Mr. Macfarlane
My Department cannot provide information in precisely the form requested, but the following tables show the nursery education building programme allocations made to South Yorkshire; how far they were taken up; and the net increase in places and pupils in nursery schools and nursery classes in primary schools in South Yorkshire, for each of the past five years.
NURSERY EDUCATION BUILDING PROGRAMME (£000s) Allocation Take-up 1974–75 935.5 935.5 1975–76 526.4 505.6 1976–77 267.0 152.0 1977–78 115.0 115.0 1978–79 386.4 386.4
NET INCREASE IN PUPILS AND PLACES IN NURSERY SCHOOLS AND CLASSES BY FINANCIAL YEAR Nursery Schools Places Pupils 1974–75 46 106 1975–76 25 33 1976–77 6 Nil 1977–78* Nil Nil 1978–79 Not yet known Not yet known
Nursery Classes Places Pupils 1974–75 438 902 1975–76 361 729 1976–77 831 1,609 1977–78* 285 480 1978–79 Not yet known Not yet known * Provisional.
§ 44. Mr. William Shelton
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has any plans to introduce legislation to raise the start of compulsory full-time education from 5 years to 6 years in order to allow universal part-time education to commence at 4 years, thus in part solving the present shortage of nursery provision; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Macfarlane
No. My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans to change the lower age limit of compulsory education. Lack of resources prevents rapid expansion of nursery education for the time being, but we would not wish to seek an improvement at the expense of full-time education for children over 5.