HC Deb 31 March 1960 vol 620 cc1480-1
3. Mrs. Butler

asked the Minister of Education whether he will consider the approval of experimental part-time nursery classes in Middlesex and other areas where suitable accommodation can be made available without in any way affecting the interests of children of compulsory school age, and where no increase in the teaching quota would be involved.

Sir D. Eccles

I regret that I cannot agree to the establishment of additional nursery facilities at the present time, but I welcome the introduction of part-time arrangements in suitable cases into existing nursery schools and classes.

Mrs. Butler

Is the Minister aware that there are may areas, including Bounds Green in Wood Green, where there is accommodation and part-time married women are available who will not affect the quota, and that the parents themselves would prefer to have part-time nursery classes because they would provide a good combination of home life and nursery training? Could not the Minister look at the possibility of encouraging local authorities in such areas to establish part-time classes where they are quite satisfied that it will not affect the interests of children of compulsory school age?

Sir D. Eccles

I know that the demand exists, but I have to think of the primary schools. It seems difficult in present circumstances to encourage local authorities to use teachers, even part-times ones, who might go to help the primary schools.