HC Deb 01 March 1962 vol 654 cc1519-20
25. Mr. Short

asked the Minister of Education what consideration he has given to recently published research by Hollingworth, Robb and others, a copy of which has been sent to him, on the educational handicaps suffered by children with I.Qs. of over 175; how many such children he has estimated there are in England and Wales; and how he proposes to make adequate provision for them.

Sir D. Eccles

I read with interest recent articles about exceptionally gifted children, in one of which the author estimated that between 25 and 50 children in England and Wales have an I.Q. above 175. Local education authorities and schools are alive to the needs of highly intelligent children, including the ablest, and I doubt if it is desirable to segregate them.

Mr. Short

Have the Minister's research people really gone into this? Do they agree with the American view now that this small group of children should be regarded as educationally handicapped? They make a nuisance of themselves in class and are very unhappy? Does he not think that there is much to be said for setting up a small residential unit for this group of super geniuses? Will he at any rate refer this matter to the National Foundation for Educational Research?

Sir D. Eccles

I have consulted the Foundation. Dr. Wall estimates that the number of children with I.Q.s over 175 is one or two in a million, which is rather different from the estimate I gave before. On this issue I am really not in favour of departing from comprehensive education.

Mr. Willey

Can the Minister tell us how many Members of the House have an I.Q. of 175 or more?

Mr. Speaker

There is an age limit here and so it does not arise on this Question.

Mr. Short

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I give notice that I shall seek an opportunity to raise the matter on the Adjournment