§ 9. Miss Maynard
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many qualified nursery nurses are employed in nursery schools in England and Wales.
§ Mr. Dunn
In January 1984, in England, there were 10,639 qualified nursery nurses employed in all forms of education provision for the under-fives. Of that number, 1,836 were employed in nursery schools. Information for Wales is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
§ Miss Maynard
Does the Minister agree that nursery education is very valuable for both the child and the parent and that it has been shown to be cost-effective in the long term? Should not the Government be expanding nursery education rapidly in view of the empty classrooms and the large number of unemployed nursery nurses?
§ Mr. Dunn
I have to tell the hon. Lady that many local education authorities are using surplus classrooms to that very end. I must remind the House that it is for local education authorities to decide what education facilities to provide for the under-fives in the light of local needs and resources and their own local priorities.