HC Deb 21 December 1972 vol 848 cc1563-4
25. Mr. Dormand

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what consultations she intends to have with local education authorities concerning her proposals in the White Paper on Special Education.

Mrs. Thatcher

I already have views on present priorities derived from local education authorities' bids for current special school building programmes, their waiting lists for special school places and other indications of need. Priorities will be reviewed regularly in the light of the projects submitted for future programmes and of changes in the demand for places.

Mr. Dormand

Does not the scant attention given in the White Paper to special education demonstrate yet again the little interest the Government show in this neglected part of education? How does the right hon. Lady hope to convince the local education authorities that the provisions mentioned in the White Paper will meet the needs? Does not she agree that the building programme for special schools proposed in the White Paper is totally inadequate? Is not the lack of any reference to the training of specialist teachers a most serious omission?

Mrs. Thatcher

There had been a number of other reports on particular aspects of special education long before the White Paper came out. I think that in most places the substantial increase in capital programmes for special schools has been widely welcomed.

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