HC Deb 16 March 1979 vol 964 cc360-1W
Mr. Edward Gardner

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what additional resources the Government have provided to the Lancashire county council to ensure that children below the age of five years in the Penworthan area of South Fylde are given the same educational opportunities as in other parts of Lancashire.

Miss Margaret Jackson

The Government make resources for nursery provision available nationally through my Department's nursery education building programme and the urban aid programme. In addition, provision is made for the admission of rising fives to primary school in the calculation of the rate support grant settlement.

All LEAs are encouraged to take advantage of these resources and to expand education for the under fives wherever possible, but the final decision as to where and how provision should be made within a particular area rests with the LEA concerned. I understand from Lancashire LEA that, until recently, 3 of the 6 primary schools in the Penworthan area admitted children below statutory school age, but that 4 now do so.