HC Deb 18 April 1994 vol 241 cc380-1W
Ms Harman

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is his latest estimate of the number of children under five years of age in(a) nursery schools and (b) nursery classes in primary schools.

Mr. Robin Squire

In 1993, 53,000 children aged under five attended maintained nursery schools in England, either full or part time, and a further 287,000 children attended nursery classes in maintained primary schools.

Mr. Spearing

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he has taken and what methods he has used in calculating his published figures concerning children under school age attending reception classes, nursery classes in primary schools, nursery schools and registered playgroups to avoid double counting of those children who, within the chosen period of any returns of single time census are attending, or have attended, more than one category of provision.

Mr. Robin Squire

Information on pupils in schools is collected each January from schools. A pupil should be on the register of only one school at any one point in time. Information on children attending playgroups is not held centrally. Figures quoted about playgroup attendance are those supplied by the Pre-school Playgroups Association, to which about 80 per cent. of playgroups are affiliated. It is of course possible that a child attends both a play group and some form of schooling in the same year.