HC Deb 16 December 1999 vol 341 cc286-7W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to change the guidance to local education authorities on pupil-staff ratios in nursery(a) classes and (b) schools; and how many in each category have a ratio above the current recommended level. [102555]

Ms Hodge

I have no plans to change current guidance on pupil-staff ratios in nursery classes and nursery schools in the maintained sector. Data on pupil-staff ratios in these settings are available only as an aggregated value for each local education authority. This information was last collected by my Department in January 1999 and suggests that all local education authorities are operating nursery schools with pupil-staff ratios which are within current recommended levels and that approximately 99 per cent. are operating more favourable ratios. In addition, 49 per cent. of local education authorities are providing nursery classes in maintained primary schools with pupil-staff ratios that are within or better than the recommended level.