§ 3. Dr. Barnett Stross
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young persons aged 16 years or over, committed to approved schools in the past five years, have escaped and, as a result, have been accommodated in other approved schools and have not been committed to Borstal.
§ Mr. Ede
The great majority of boys and girls are received back into the schools from which they have absconded. Some are transferred to other schools, and the number so transferred is much larger than the number committed to Borstal as unsuited for any school: but it is impossible to give figures, because absconding is only one amongst various symptoms of unsettlement which may lead to a decision that another school will be better suited to the needs of a particular boy or girl.
§ Dr. Stross
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the children who escaped from approved schools, and were sent to Borstal as a result, numbered more than 1,000 over the past five years—about one-fifth of those who were admitted to approved schools? Is not the inference to be drawn from the right hon. Gentleman's answer that more went back to approved schools than were sent to Borstal? Would he use his admittedly great influence to see that 562 all who did escape from approved schools are given another chance to make good, and not sent to Borstal?
§ Mrs. Leah Manning
While we are very grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his information that the majority of these boys are sent back to approved schools and not to Borstal, could he tell us that, in those schools where children are constantly absconding, real search goes on to find out what is at the back of the abscondings?