§ 11. Mr. Wiliam Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she now intends to withdraw her advice to local education authorities against the sending of handicapped children to the private school at Corsbie Hall, Fife.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
This school was finally registered by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland on 24th April. I do not therefore propose to take further action in respect of the children sent to the school by the Oldham education authority.
§ Mr. Hamilton
Does that mean that the right hon. Lady is still sticking by her advice to local education authorities in England not to send their children to this school, or is she positively encouraging them to do so? Does she recognise that in some instances the fees are £1,200 a year per child, which is about 50 per cent. more than Eton's fees, and that neither she nor any Minister of the Crown would send their own children to this school? Will the right hon. Lady urge local authorities which still insist on sending their children to it that they inspect the facilities there regularly and get on speedily with making provision in their own areas for these children?
§ Mrs. Thatcher
The only children concerned at the moment are four children who are sent by Oldham local education authority. They were the only outstanding cases in which I may have had to take action had the school not been registered. With regard to the hon. Gentleman's other point about the cost, residential education for maladjusted children 1537 or children with special education requirements is very expensive, and £1,200 is not an unknown quantum for State schools either.