§ 22. Mr. James H. Hoy
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what provisions have been made by the Scottish Education Department for the employment of blind persons with special qualifications; and what higher posts are available to them.
§ Mr. Henderson Stewart
Provision, is made in the Regulations for the Training of Teachers for blind persons to obtain a special qualification as teachers of the blind. Eleven such persons were employed as teachers in special schools for the blind on 1st October, 1951.
§ Mr. Hoy
Is the Minister aware that this Question is prompted by a constituent of mine, details about whom I have 1098 supplied to his Department? Is he aware that this constituent is a blind girl who graduated M.A. with first-class Honours at Edinburgh University, gaining the James Eliot prize for the best student of the year, the University diploma of education with a medal for the theory and history of education and a good teaching qualification? Is he aware that she has failed to find employment and has now been offered free training as a shorthand-typist? Would he have a look into the whole matter and see what can be done for these blind people who suffer under this severe handicap?
§ Mr. Stewart
I am aware of the case and am very sorry about it but, as the hon. Member knows, the appointment of teachers rests not with the Secretary of State but with managers of schools. The Secretary of State is not the Minister responsible to Parliament for finding employment. It is, of course, the Minister of Labour who is responsible.
§ Mr. Hoy
I quite agree with that, but is the hon. Gentleman not aware that the Secretary of State for Scotland is the Minister responsible for education in Scotland? May I suggest that the Joint Under-Secretary, together with the Secretary of State, might consider or explore some means of providing employment for people of this kind with their very fine qualifications?