HC Deb 21 December 1972 vol 848 cc1551-2
4. Miss Lestor

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many holders of the Nursery Nurses' Examination Board qualification are currently employed in maintained nursery schools and classes.

Mrs. Thatcher

In England and Wales, 4,104 in January 1972. In addition 1,645 were helping in infant classes.

Miss Lestor

The right hon. Lady will be aware that one of the things that inhibits young girls from going in for training for the NNEB qualification is the appalling salary that they receive at the end of their training? I recognise that that is not altogether the right hon. Lady's responsibility, but can she say what is being done about changing the quality of training for NNEB qualification? The right hon. Lady hints at this in paragraph 31 of the White Paper, which says that more of these people are to be used in nursery schools and classes. What efforts are being made to attract young men into training, both for work in nursery schools, and for the NNEB qualification?

Mrs. Thatcher

Pay is negotiated through the Whitley Council. The pay for those aged 20 and over is between £726 and £999 a year.

On the question of more courses, we shall have to operate through the local education authorities which are, of course, in charge of them, and we hope that they will respond as quickly as possible through the provision of courses leading to the NNEB certificate.

As regards young men coming into training, they can take a nursery option in the colleges of education that are specialising in primary school work, or in certificated training for teachers but have a nursery option. That is probably the most likely way they would come in.