HC Deb 08 February 2001 vol 362 c690W
21. Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate he has made of the number of(a) nursery school places for four year-olds, (b) primary school places for five year-olds and (c) secondary school places for 11 year-olds available in the London borough of Southwark in the year 2001–02, and the number of children of each age group during the same year. [147928]

Mrs. Hodge

My Department does not collect detailed information on the provision of nursery or school places by local education authorities in England. It is for each local education authority to plan and keep under review the supply of school places so as to ensure there is sufficient provision to meet demand. The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 requires every local education authority to prepare a School Organisation Plan (SOP). The SOP sets out how the authority proposes to deal with surplus or deficits of school provision over a five-year period and sets out the context for proposals for changes in school organisation. Where LEAs can demonstrate insufficient school places to meet future demand they may apply to the Department for capital funding to provide additional places for statutory aged children. The spring 2000 nursery education grant headcount showed in Southwark there were 2,866 four-year-old pupils. The annual school census for January 2000 showed that there were 3,181 pupils aged five in maintained primary schools and 2,040 11 year olds in maintained secondary schools.