HC Deb 22 March 1955 vol 538 cc1847-9
2. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to extend and increase the accommodation for treatment of spastic people in the north-east of Scotland.

Commander Galbraith

Children in the north-east of Scotland suffering from the more severe degrees of spastic disablement and requiring institutional care are admitted to the Woodlands Home, Cults. The accommodation at Woodlands has recently been doubled, and the regional board envisages its further extension later on. Educational provision for spastic school children is made in the physically handicapped section of the new Beech-wood School in Aberdeen.

Mr. Hughes

Can the right hon. and gallant Gentleman say what relation the accommodation bears to the actual number of spastic people awaiting accommodation?

Commander Galbraith

I can tell the hon. Gentleman that at Beechwood School the total number of places available is 85 and that there are 63 pupils on the roll, so it would appear that there is room for more.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that this is one of the finest schools of its kind in the whole country? He is not distinguishing between children who are handicapped and children who are not handicapped, so giving them the feeling that they are being educated in a normal way.

Commander Galbraith indicated assent.

12. Mr. Lawson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will cause an inquiry to be made into the number of spastics in Scotland of school age; the extent and nature of the educational facilities provided for them; and the number that are benefiting from such facilities.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Henderson Stewart)

An inquiry on the lines the hon. Member suggests is being conducted by the Scottish Council for the Care of Spastics, based on its experience at Westerlea School, and my right hon. Friend expects in the near future to discuss with it its draft report which will, he understands, include the results of local surveys. Special provision for spastic pupils is made at one residential school and one day school, but many other schools and classes for handicapped pupils also provide for children who are not too severely handicapped. About 440 pupils in all are benefiting from these facilities.

Mr. Lawson

While thanking the Joint Under-Secretary for that reply, may I ask him to bear in mind that although this question deals only with children of school age, the children under school age are very important too?

Mr. Stewart

Yes, Sir.