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Nursery Education

Volume 974: debated on Wednesday 21 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will seek to amend the Education Act 1944 so as to place a duty on local' authorities to provide nursery education for those who request it.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many nursery schools and classes he expects will close in 1980.

Any figures given would be pure speculation. It is a matter for each local authority to determine how best to effect the necessary reductions in expenditure across the whole range of services it provides. Although the rate support grant settlement for 1980–81 assumes that expenditure on nursery education provision will be maintained broadly at the present level, provision has been made for a small nursery education building programme to provide about 2,000 places enable those authorities who wish to do so to increase their nursery education provision.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will issue guidance to those local authorities who have no nursery schools or classes available but who are responsible for children who have been recommended for nursery places for special reasons.

No. My right hon. and learned Friend has no present plans to issue such guidance. Many local authorities which have little or no nursery education provision as such nevertheless make other arrangements for the care of pre-school children by providing various kinds of centre or by support to voluntary groups.