HC Deb 10 June 1971 vol 818 cc1208-9
2. Mr. Greville Janner

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will issue a circular to local authorities, advising them to appoint speech therapists specifically to treat schoolchildren who suffer from stammering.

Mrs. Thatcher

No, Sir.

Mr. Janner

Children who stammer often have their lives made miserable by their schoolmates and suffer psychologically, and their condition deteriorates. All their lives they suffer from a disease which some people consider funny but which to the sufferers is very serious indeed. Would the right hon. Lady make some firm effort at school level to have this ailment properly treated by speech therapists, whose job it is to help children who suffer from this unfortunate disease?

Mrs. Thatcher

I agree with a good deal of what the hon. Gentleman says, It is a most unfortunate handicap. There are some 446 speech therapists in the school health service—that was the number in December, 1969—and I am sure that they have this matter well in hand.