HC Deb 21 February 1963 vol 672 cc620-1
18. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Education if lie will ask the Central Advisory Council for Education to investigate the number of nursery schools required to meet the nation's requirements and to make recommendations as to the steps necessary to achieve a satisfactory nursery school system.

Sir E. Boyle

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer which my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary gave to the hon. Member for Norfolk, South-West (Mr. Hilton) on 14th February last. The inquiry into primary education which I am considering would include nursery education.

Mr. Boyden

I take it again that that Answer means "No". Has the Minister seen the statement made by Sir Ronald Gould that a certain number of married women teachers cannot get jobs in some parts of the country? Therefore, would he not consider opening more nursery schools so as to pull in this type of teacher and also open more nursery schools in places where there is a particular need for them?

Sir E. Boyle

If the hon. Gentleman will look again at his Question and at my Answer, he will find that I answered quite fairly the precise Question I was asked. I do not think that it is unreasonable to take the line that the needs of children of compulsory school age should come first, but the recent increase in part-time students, which I support, has in fact enabled more children to enjoy the benefit of nursery education.