HC Deb 11 May 1972 vol 836 cc1532-3
9. Mr. Dykes

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimate has been made by her Department on the size of the waiting list for preschool places in the London Borough of Harrow.

Mr. Van Straubenzee

The Department does not make or collect estimates of this kind.

Mr. Dykes

Does not my hon. Friend think that it is rather disappointing that this Socialist-controlled local authority appears not to have the slightest idea of pre-school demands either now or over the next few years? Will he consider having further conversations with the local authority concerned to ascertain the precise position?

Mr. van Straubenzee

The question of estimating demand must be a matter for the authority. As at January, 1971, there were 200 pupils in nursery schools and classes in Harrow and a further 750 fouryear-olds in reception classes in primary schools, which includes rising fives. Together these are about 15 per cent. of the combined three- and four-year-olds in the borough.