HC Deb 19 June 1958 vol 589 c1284
1 and 2. Mr. Moss

asked the Minister of Education (1) how many local education authorities provide evening classes in mental deficiency hospitals, and in what subjects; and how far it is his policy to encourage such provision;

(2) whether he will seek to extend his powers to enable local education authorities to provide evening classes in mental hospitals for the benefit of patients undergoing mental treatment so as to include all suitable patients, whether voluntary or not.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education (Sir Edward Boyle)

In consultation with my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Health, my right hon. Friend will consider the scope of local education authorities' powers in the light of any changes in the law he may be proposing to make as a result of the recommendations in the Report of the Royal Commission on the Law Relating to Mental Illness and Mental Deficiency.

Mr. Moss

Could the hon. Baronet tell me whether the policy of his right hon. Friend is still governed by Circular 312, dated 11th September, 1956, and called, "The Education of Patients in Hospitals"? Does he recollect paragraph 34 of that Circular? It says: Local education authorities are encouraged to provide courses of educational value in hospitals to all patients who are able to profit from them. I should like to know whether that still applies.

Sir E. Boyle

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman could put down a Question about that Circular or write to me. I know his concern with these matters. I know these classes are of value to all those who benefit from them, but this is a question which my right hon. Friend will be considering.