HC Deb 18 January 1994 vol 235 cc540-1W
Mr. Spearing

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, Leith (Mr. Chisholm) of 14 December 1993,Official Report, column 825, how many children at the latest available date in the borough of Wandsworth were (a) in attendance in nursery classes or nursery schools, (b) in reception classes in primary schools under school starting age and (c) in other pre-school groups; how many (i) qualified nursery teachers, (ii) qualified nursery nurses and (iii) other qualified or non-qualified teachers and nurses, were employed in the borough on nursery education at the latest available date; and what is the latest estimate of the number of children aged three and four years currently resident in that borough.

Mr. Robin Squire

In Wandsworth, in January 1993 —the latest date for which information on schools is available—there were nearly 2,400 pupils below compulsory school age in maintained nursery schools and nursery classes in maintained primary schools. A further 1,700 pupils below compulsory school age were in infant classes in maintained primary schools. Information on reception classes only is not collected centrally.

The maintained nursery schools and nursery classes were staffed by 71 full-time equivalent teachers, of whom two were unqualified 75 full-time equivalent qualified nursery assistants and a further 26 full-time equivalent unqualified nursery assistants and other education support staff.

As regards other pre-school groups, we are informed by the Pre-school Playgroups Association that their member playgroups in Wandsworth had nearly 400 three and four-year-olds in attendance in mid-1992, the latest date for which such information is available. Information on other forms of pre-school group provision, such as day nurseries, is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health. Information on nursery classes in independent or special schools is not collected centrally.

In January 1993, the estimated three and four-year-old population in Wandsworth was just over 6,000. I should perhaps add that Wandsworth now has a policy of offering a nursery class place to all parents who want one for the year before entering compulsory education. This policy is not yet fully reflected in the figures available.