HC Deb 28 July 1960 vol 627 cc1850-1
27. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Education if he will now consider including new nursery schools in school building programmes in areas where the need is demonstrated to be particularly strong.

Sir D. Eccles

I know of the need and I regret that I cannot yet spare the resources for this purpose.

Mr. Boyden

Surely, if several hundred teachers can be provided for the Commonwealth—a provision with which I agree—a few dozen could be provided for nursery schools? Is not the argument that this is an extra supply of teachers rather misleading? Are there not some married women who would not otherwise go into the schools who would come forward? Would not a number of nursery assistants also come forward for training in the training colleges? Cannot the hon. Gentleman do something about it?

Sir D. Eccles

It is the shortage of primary school teachers that is the difficulty. I welcome part-time nursery education where this does not entail the use of additional teaching staff.

Mrs. White

Does not the right hon. Gentleman know that considerable anxiety is now being felt in urban areas where high flats are being built and where small children are living in conditions which, psychologically and physically, are most undesirable, and that the Nursery School Association and other bodies are getting very concerned about this?

Sir D. Eccles

I know that is so, but primary schools must come first.