HC Deb 15 May 1973 vol 856 cc1233-4
21. Mr. Deakins

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps she is taking to ensure that the criteria for identifying areas of educational deprivation are uniformly applied.

Mrs. Thatcher

In allocating capital resources to local education authorities for the expansion of nursery education I shall take account of data from the census and elsewhere on housing, income and occupation. It is for authorities themselves to decide how to use these and other resources within their own areas.

Mr. Deakins

Would it not be advisable for the right hon. Lady to issue some guidelines to local education authorities about this matter so that we do not find ourselves in the absurd situation that educationally deprived children in some areas receive special help under the urban programme while similar children elsewhere are denied that help?

Mrs. Thatcher

We give general guidance to local education authorities. We rely upon them to know where the most difficult areas are within their boundaries. We do the general allocation for nursery provision and within that allocation rely on local knowledge.