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Nursery Education (Berkshire And Buckinghamshire)

Volume 974: debated on Monday 26 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether Berkshire and Buckinghamshire county councils still retain nursery education in their areas; and, if so, what is the total cost in each area.

Both local education authorities provide maintained nursery education places. It is not possible to provide an up-to-date estimate of the current cost to the authorities. The following figures are drawn from the education estimates statistics for 1979–80 published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy:

The Government attach importance to maintaining the youth service, and our expenditure plans for 1980–81 allow for recurrent expenditure on it to be held steady. We also appreciate the importance of adult education, particularly that which has a high vocational content or is designed to promote higher standards of achievement in literacy and numeracy, but we recognise that adults may have to pay more towards the cost of some courses or that provision in some areas may have to be curtailed. It will be for individual local authorities, in the light of local circumstances and priorities, to determine what levels of expenditure are achieved locally, and I shall not issue specific guidance to them.