HC Deb 08 December 1949 vol 470 cc2055-6
5. Major Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of Education how many special boarding schools for handicapped pupils, and homes, hostels and training centres for them after leaving these schools have been opened in the last four years; how many children have been admitted; how many more will be catered for in the next year; and if he will consider arranging for assistance regarding training fees after these children leave school.

Mr. Tomlinson

Since 1st January, 1946, 53 boarding special schools, exclusive of hospital schools, have been opened, with accommodation for 3,300 pupils, and I estimate that 30 more, with accommodation for about 1,500 pupils, will be provided by the end of 1950. During the same period, 39 new boarding homes with accommodation for 917 pupils have been approved. No new training centres for handicapped persons have been provided under the Education Acts, and no additional provision is expected next year. The training facilities provided by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service under the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, 1944, are available for handicapped pupils when they leave school.

Major Legge-Bourke

Would the right hon. Gentleman say if he is taking special care to see that children who have been trained at these special schools are given some priority at the centres, because at the present time many of them are going back to rather unsuitable homes or to institutions and are not being enabled to take full advantage of the education they received?

Mr. Tomlinson

We are doing our best to help them in all instances. I know that there are difficulties, due to the places where they reside. Wherever possible we get them into touch with the facilities.