HC Deb 16 April 1964 vol 693 cc579-80
19. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the success rate for senior, intermediate and junior boys, respectively, released from approved schools in 1960.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Miss Mervyn Pike)

This information is not yet available.

Mr. Boyden

Were not last year's figures entirely unsatisfactory? Were not the figures, in fact, very seriously worse than in 1949? Does not the hon. Lady's Department take some discredit for this, inasmuch as there are nothing like enough places for specialists in approved schools and that the conditions for housemasters regarding both pay and promotion are still far from satisfactory?

Miss Pike

We take these figures very seriously. I think that the hon. Gentleman will be interested in the figures which my right hon. Friend hopes to publish before the Summer recess.

Miss Bacon

Is the hon. Lady aware that 65 per cent. of the inmates of approved schools for girls are there not because they have committed offences but because they are in need of care and protection, and that most of them have had offences committed against them? How does she measure the success rate in these cases? Does not she consider that the time has come for a reappraisal of the efficacy of the approved school system as a whole?

Miss Pike

The last part of the hon. Lady's supplementary question goes wider than the Question on the Order Paper. We are looking into the method of assessing the statistics to see whether we can get a more realistic yardstick of success.

20. Mr. Boyden

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what trends in the success rate for boys entering approved schools in 1956 have been discovered by his research unit's statistical studies.

Miss Pike

This study is providing information not previously available about failures during training and the relative success rates of schools of different kinds and boys of different ages. It cannot, however, provide information about trends since it deals with only one year's entrants.

Mr. Boydon

Why has it taken so long to set up this statistical inquiry? The work of the Howard League and of my hon. Friend the Member for Chesterfield (Sir G. Benson) and Dr. Mannheim has been directed to this particular sphere for 10 or 12 years. What is the present staff of the unit? Is it satisfactory to cover the whole problem?

Miss Pike

As the hon. Member knows, we are always trying to find new ways to discover the underlying causes in this field. I do not accept that it has taken a long time to set up this particular study group, but I agree that it is important to go ahead as quickly as possible in finding realistic yardsticks.

Mr. Mayhew

Is it not, unfortunately, true that the difference in success rates at different places of detention is due to the different types of offender sent there and not to the effectiveness of different types of detention?

Miss Pike

That is another question.