HC Deb 23 July 1970 vol 804 cc741-2
35. Mr. Goodhart

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans she has for increasing the number of residential school places for educationally subnormal children and maladjusted children.

Mr. van Straubenzee

Schools already under construction will provide 257 residential places for educationally subnormal children in England and Wales. I expect that nearly 400 further places will be provided in buildings to start not later than March, 1972. The equivalent number of places for maladjusted children is 616 and 350.

Mr. Goodhart

Will my hon. Friend keep in mind that there is a desperate shortage at national level in both categories, and that the finding of places for both educationally subnormal children and maladjusted children gives local authorities some agonising problems?

Mr. van Straubenzee

It happens to be one of my particular interests, and I know that my hon. Friend has concerned himself much with it, but I can only give as an answer, "Within the terms of the resources available".

Mr. Spearing

Will the hon. Gentleman agree that it is possible to deal with some maladjustment cases by special units attached to existing schools rather than by providing relatively expensive buildings as special schools, and will he look into that?

Mr. van Straubenzee

I am always prepared to look into any possibility in this field.