Projections of enrolment are not available. Numbers of pupils aged five attending English maintained schools are projected to rise from 500,000 to 624,000 between 1983 and 1993, but numbers of pupils aged 11 are projected to fall from 660,000 to 537,000 over the same period.
With regard to the number of pupils entering the primary school sector, will my hon. Friend have regard to the imbalance throughout the country over policy towards rising-fives and consider giving advice to education authorities as to their right priority?
Does the Minister agree that the figures that he has just given, which show a substantial rise in the number of children going into primary school in the next few years, make absolute nonsense of the cuts that are now being imposed on primary schools, to the extent that some are being closed?
During discussions with his colleagues in the Department of Education and Science, will my hon. Friend seriously consider the problems that confront youngsters in further education? I include in that the universities, as they are prepared to take on more children without adding to staffing costs. Will he consider that carefully?