asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many education authorities in England and Wales are reducing nursery and under-five provision during 1980–81; and how many such places will be lost as a consequence of such contraction.
My right hon. and learned Friend has no detailed information about the intentions of local authorities with regard to the provision of nursery education and early admissions to primary schools during 1980–81. The Government have provided within the rate support grant settlement for 1980–81 for educational expenditure on under-fives to remain at broadly the same level as for 1979–80 and my right hon. and learned Friend does not anticipate that there will be any substantial reduction in provision overall.