§ 43. Mr. K. Robinson
asked the Minister of Education if, in view of the growing trend for children with hearing defects to be educated in ordinary schools, he will take steps to ensure that the curricula of teachers' training colleges include a short course of lectures on the special problems involved in teaching partially deaf children.
§ Mr. Chataway
It is the general practice in training colleges for students to be made aware of the needs of handicapped pupils and to visit a variety of schools, including special schools, during their initial training. My right hon. Friend agrees that it is important for teachers to know of these needs, but he 552 does not think that lectures on a particular handicap should be made a compulsory part of training.
§ Mr. Robinson
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many people think that this trend is a desirable one, but only on the condition that there are sufficient teachers who are aware of the particular difficulties of teaching children who are partially deaf? Will he look very carefully into this and perhaps consider at a later stage whether a short course of lectures might not be desirable?
§ Mr. Chataway
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the suggestion. Already some local education authorities employ peripatetic teachers of the deaf, whose duties include advice to teachers in service. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that it is important that those teachers who have partially deaf children in their schools should be aware of the problems, particularly of the need to seek specialist advice when that is necessary.