HC Deb 18 December 1995 vol 268 cc973-4W
Ms Hodge

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) how many staff work in maintained nursery schools; and how many have qualified teacher status; [6526]

(2) what is the current ratio of staff to children in state nursery schools. [6525]

Mr. Robin Squire

In January 1995, the latest date for which information is available, the pupil: teacher ratio in maintained nursery schools in England was 19.41:1; the pupil:staff ratio was 8.8:1. There were 1,596 full-time equivalent teaching staff, of whom 1,577 were qualified and, in addition, there were 1,901 full-time equivalent nursery assistants.

Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment in what circumstances local education authorities may institute a system of charging for nursery provision in(a) nursery classes in schools (b) and nursery schools; which local education authorities currently do this; and what are the scales of charges. [6432]

Mr. Squire

Education, including nursery provision, offered by any grant-maintained or local education authority maintained school must by law be free of charge if it takes place wholly or mainly during school hours. Independent and privately run nursery schools may set whatever level of charges they consider to be appropriate.