HC Deb 03 July 1968 vol 767 cc1476-7
10. Mr. Dewar

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the number of approved school places presently available in Scotland; and what percentage increase he expects in the next three years.

Mr. Millan

There are 1,820 places available at present and an increase of 158 places or 8.7 per cent. is expected in the next three years.

Mr. Dewar

While accepting those figures, will not my hon. Friend accept the public's willingness to support the Government's very right emphasis on the proper treatment of offenders as the answer to the real crime problem is being seriously undermined by constant reports from the courts about the unavailability of residential accommodation places for young offenders, and, if this position is not soon put right, we will be in real difficulties?

Mr. Millan

The matter is slightly more complicated than that. It is important that we have the right kind of residential accommodation required, but we have also to take into account whether in every circumstance children being sent to residential accommodation really need the kind of approved school provision that we have. A rather disturbing feature about Scotland is the emphasis on approved school accommodation that we have which is rather greater than they have south of the border. This factor requires examination as well as the provision of more places. But on the later point, we are providing additional places now.