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Nursery Education

Volume 174: debated on Thursday 14 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will publish a table showing the number of nursery school or other pre-five facilities places available in each regional council area in each of the past 12 years;(2) what is his estimate of the number of children in the current year who are unlikely to be accommodated in pre-five facilities.

The table gives for each regional and islands council the total of the following:

  • pupils attending local authority nursery schools,
  • places in local authority day nurseries,
  • places in local authority and registered pre school playgroups,
  • places for which local authority sponsored and private childminders are registered.
Figures for numbers of pupils attending nursery schools have been used because there are no reliable figures for the number of places and because many children attend nursery school part time. It should also be noted that some children may make use of more than one of type of provision.There were in addition 1,392 children in September 1989 below the age of five attending independent schools, 351 children below the age of five attending special schools at September 1988 and an estimated 1,500 places in registered day nurseries. Information for 1977–78 is not available on a consistent basis and that on private nursery schools is not collected centally. At June 1988 there were an estimated 322,989 children under five and 126,079 children in the population aged three and four years, the range which is the relevant age group for nursery education.

No doubt British Steel took note of the House's view, as set out in the Official Report, and which was widely reported in the media following the debate on 21 May.