PRIMARY EDUCATIONCategory: Education
Primary education includes three age ranges: nursery forchildren under five years, infants from five to seven or eight, and juniors from seven or eight to eleven or twelve years. Attendance is voluntary, but much sought after, for children under five. They may attend one of the rare publicly maintained nursery schools, an independent nursery school, a pre-school play-group, or, increasingly, a nursery class attached to a primary school.
There are 23,000 public sector primary schools. In January 1970 they had 4.9 million pupils. Nearly all these schools were for boys and girls together. About half had 100 pupils or less. Maximum’ class sizes as laid down by the Secretary of State are 30 for nursery schools and 40 for infant and junior classes.
Middle schools are now being set up by a number of authorities to span the gap between primary education, which is largely pupil-centred, and secondary education, which has traditionally been subject-centred. There were 136 in 1970. These schools for pupils aged eight to twelve are regarded as primary schools for statistical purposes, those for pupils aged ten to thirteen are regarded as secondary schools, and those for pupils aged nine to thirteen may be either, at the local education authority’ choice.