HC Deb 25 June 1959 vol 607 cc1374-5
18. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Minister of Education if, in view of the fall in the number of those attending primary schools, and the extra accommodation now available in such schools, he will withdraw Circulars No. 280 and 313 and will encourage, whenever conditions permit, the admission of children under 5 years of age to nursery classes or nursery schools.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

No, Sir, because it is still more important to concentrate on reducing the size of classes.

Mr. Fletcher

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the two aims are contradictory, and that there is a great demand both by a number of teachers' organisations concerned in reducing the size of classes and parents' organisations that where there is accommodation available in schools it should be used to introduce nursery schools and nursery classes?

Mr. Lloyd

That may be so in particular cases, but I think that, in general, priority must be given to reducing the size of classes.

22. Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of Education how many primary schools are sited on stretches of trunk roads where there are no speed restrictions; and for how many of these schools no school crossing patrol is provided.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. Turton

My right hon. Friend really ought to get hold of this information. Is he aware that it is a matter of very great concern and that the parents of children who attend these schools are, not unreasonably, anxious for the safety of the children in view of the increasing speed and number of vehicles on these trunk roads? Will my right hon. Friend take care to see that some provision is made for their safety while entering and leaving school?

Mr. Lloyd

This is a most important question but it has been felt that it is a matter for the responsibility of the local authorities, who are very much alive to it. In the case to which my right hon. Friend has drawn my attention, I am asking the authority to review all the safety precautions at the school concerned.