HC Deb 10 June 1971 vol 818 c1218
23. Miss Lestor

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will list her powers to prevent a local authority extending nursery school provision.

Mrs. Thatcher

I have no such statutory powers. Successive Secretaries of State have discouraged by administrative means the general expansion of nursery education, except under the Urban Programme, because of other claims on resources.

Miss Lestor

Will the right hon. Lady therefore confirm that those local authorities that have indicated that they would like to extend their nursery school provision, particularly by using empty class-rooms in infants' schools, can do so if they wish and cannot be prevented by her Department?

Mrs. Thatcher

As the law stands, there are no statutory powers to prevent them.