HC Deb 12 May 1896 vol 40 c1147

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether his attention has been drawn to a return made by the Poor Law Schools, Committee, to the effect that there were in the Metropolitan Poor Law Schools 105 children mentally deficient, 20 liable to fits, and 8 otherwise disqualified to take part in school work (exclusive of those in the school infirmaries); and, what provision the Local Government Board had made or intended to make for the reception, training, and protection of these children?


The Managers of the Metropolitan Asylum District have made provision in their school at Darenth for imbecile children; and it is not improbable that some of the cases referred to might be sent to the school provided by the Managers. There are, no doubt, other children whose mental condition is not such as to require their being sent to the Darenth Schools, and for whom it would be desirable to make other provision. The question is an important one, and it is by no means limited to London, and I am not at present in a position to state what course it will be best to adopt in the matter. It must be borne in mind that there is considerable difference of opinion as to whether feeble-minded children are not helped by association with children who are not similarly afflicted; and there are some persons who are in favour of their being retained in the existing schools, special attention being given to their education and training.