HC Deb 15 February 1951 vol 484 cc592-3
13. Mr. Bell

asked the Minister of Education what schools are available for the education and care of mentally retarded children whose parents live in the county of Buckingham; which of them are residential; what measures he is taking to increase the amount of accommodation available; and what procedure is used in the selection of pupils for entrance.

Mr. Tomlinson

There are three special schools, two of which are largely residential. Places are also taken in special schools outside the area and special educational treatment is provided in certain normal schools. A new special school and the enlargement of the three existing schools is contemplated, while 22 additional places have been secured outside the county. As soon as children are ascertained to be educationally sub-normal steps are taken to obtain appropriate treatment for them, but some delay in placing them is at present inevitable owing to shortage of accommodation.

Mr. Bell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the progress of these backward children to normality and to the conditions and standards of those in ordinary schools is being endangered by the present delay in providing this special accommodation? Will he import some urgency into the consideration of these further measures?

Mr. Tomlinson

I have been importing urgency into this matter for the last four years. Until then little or nothing had been done.