§ 111. Mr. SUGDEN
asked the President of the Board of Education what steps are being taken by the Board of Education to acquire the assistance of British trades unions to continue the training of mentally and physically defective children when they leave special schools, so that they enter industries wherein the trade union authorities consider them capable of use after a proper apprenticeship under trade union auspices?
§ Mr. FISHER
I am alive to the importance of this matter, which is one of considerable practical difficulty. I will, however, bear the hon. Member's suggestion in mind, and shall be glad to discuss it with him. He will understand that the Board of Control and the Ministry of Labour may also be concerned in the matter.
§ 112. Mr. SUGDEN
asked the President of the Board of Education what number of mental and physically defective children now are receiving special and expert-tuition in schools in the United Kingdom; what numbers yet are not so receiving this special tuition, for the reason that local authorities have as yet made no application to the Board of Education for the necessary powers to deal with these un fortunate children; and whether the Board of Education propose to take any, and, if any, what steps to increase the State assistance given to local authorities where the portion of cost to be borne by them of such special tuition would be oppressive to the local ratepayers?
§ Mr. FISHER
Accommodation in special schools is at present provided for about 15,000 mentally defective children, and for about 5,500 cripples. No reliable figures are available as to the additional accommodation required, but new provision may be needed for about 15,000 mentally defective, and at least as many cripples. In considering schemes submitted under the Education Act, the Board will have regard, amongst other things, to the adequacy of the provision proposed to be made for these types of children. As from 1st April next, Grants will be payable to local education authorities at the rate of one-half 893 of their net expenditure on schools for these children. These Grants will represent a substantial increase over those at present generally payable.