HC Deb 22 May 1973 vol 857 cc63-4W
Mr. Joel Barnett

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will reconsider her policy in relation to the provision of nursery schools in the Heywood and Royton constituency.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Resources will be available to each local education authority ultimately to make provision in maintained nursery schools and classes for up to 90 per cent. of four-year-olds and 50 per cent. of three-year-olds. Provision on this scale will require substantial building programmes, beginning in 1974–75 and running at the rate of £18.3 million—starts—for the first two years. My right hon. Friend hopes to announce allocations for both years before the end of the summer. She has not asked authorities for details of individual projects; she considers that the determination of priorities within local authority areas should be a matter for the local education authori- ties, which are in the best position to judge local needs and resources.