HC Deb 05 July 1983 vol 45 cc141-2
6. Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to increase the number of places in primary schools for the rising-fives.

Mr. Dunn

The current surplus of primary school accommodation provides opportunity for local education authorities to add nursery classes to primary schools and to admit rising-fives to reception classes. It is for local education authorities to decide whether to do so in the light of local needs and priorities and the availability of resources.

Mr. Hannam

Is my hon. Friend aware that during the election campaign frustration was shown by many parents whose children's fifth birthday fell on the wrong side of the start of the educational year so that they had to wait a long time to begin their education? Will he take advantage of the falling rolls to extend educational opportunities to the rising-fives?

Mr. Dunn

I note what my hon. Friend says.

Mr. Hardy

The question whether authorities have the resources to provide such opportunities relates to the report from the inspectorate, which the Secretary of State said would be available this month. Will the Minister ensure that the report is available before the House rises for the summer recess so that we may debate this important topic?

Mr. Dunn

We hope that the report will be published in time.