HC Deb 28 April 1932 vol 265 c554

asked the President of the Board of Education whether the proportion of mentally-deficient children to ordinary school children is on the increase or decline in England and Wales?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Sir Donald Maclean)

During the last few years for which returns are available there has been practically no variation in the proportion of children in public elementary schools formally ascertained by school medical officers as mentally defective, but I am afraid that these figures cannot be used as a reliable guide to the actual incidence of this form of defect, owing to the absence of a strict uniformity of standard, and to other difficulties. The hon. Member will find a full discussion of the matter in paragraphs 86–90 of the Report of the Joint Committee of the Board of Education and the Board of Control on the subject of Mental Deficiency, which was published in 1929.