HC Deb 16 July 1931 vol 255 cc798-9W

asked the President of the Board of Education the total number of children under instruction in schools for the mentally defective; whether any of these schools are non-provided; what proportion of the local education authorities provide special schools for mentally defective children; up to what age is the attendance of the children admitted to such schools compulsory; if statistics are available distinguishing between retarded children and children afflicted with known mental diseases; and if information is available with regard to the after-careers of those who have attended schools for the mentally defective?


On 31st March, 1930, there were 15,500 children under instruction in special schools for the mentally defective. Nine of these schools are non-provided. Twenty-seven per cent. of the local authorities in England and Wales provide such special schools. Attendance is compulsory up to the age of 16. Statistics are available showing the numbers of children certified as suitable for education in special schools for the mentally defective. These are children who suffer from a severe degree of retardation, or incomplete development of the mind. There are no separate statistics in regard to children suffering from "known mental diseases," unless severe retardation itself is so regarded, but they are very few in number and usually fall outside the scope of the educational system. Records of after-careers are kept as far as possible by the local education authorities and voluntary bodies which maintain special schools.