HC Deb 19 January 1967 vol 739 cc629-30
15. Mr. J. E. B. Hill

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he proposes to take to remedy the educational deficiencies disclosed in the first report of the National Child Development Study.

Mr. Crosland

The findings of this interesting study were taken fully into account by the Plowden Council whose Report I am now considering.

Mr. Hill

This is a unique study in the length and depth of child development. It has shown great value already and has great prospective value. Is it not highly desirable that it should continue? In view of the evidence it has shown of the significant number of children with special learning difficulties, will the right hon. Gentleman advise the local authorities as to the appropriate age of transfer to special schools?

Mr. Crosland

I agree about the extreme value of this study, which was largely financed by my Department in conjunction with two others. I will consider the question of continuation of the study. As to a recommendation on the point mentioned by the hon. Gentleman, I would prefer to consider all the recommendation of this study in the light of those of the Plowden Report. Practically all of them were taken into account by the Plowden Council.

Sir E. Boyle

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the findings of the study were one of the most important contributions to the Appendix to the Plowden Council's Report? Will he bear in mind that we on this side of the House attach the highest importance to this study continuing?

Mr. Crosland

I accept what the right hon. Gentleman has said. I would mention that, whereas the Appendix to the Report contains only a summary of the study, a full report will be published this month.