HC Deb 20 November 1947 vol 444 cc212-3W
100 and 101. Mr. Edward Evans

asked the Minister of Education (1) whether he is aware of the shortage of school places for young deaf children; and whether, in view of the need to begin the highly specialised teaching of language and speech as early as possible, he will take steps to ensure the provision of sufficient school accommodation for these children;

(2) whether he is satisfied that, in the programme of school building sanctioned or proceeding, the claims of the special schools, day and residential, have been given sympathetic consideration.

Mr. George Tomlinson

In present circumstances, the school building programme is necessarily mainly directed to meeting basic statutory needs particularly those due to the raised school age, new housing and the increase in the birth-rate. The need for new special school buildings must in general be regarded as a long-term problem, but a good many proposals for the use of existing buildings with little or no adaptation are receiving favourable consideration and others are in view. I am aware of the shortage of places for young deaf children and I am glad to say that several of these proposals will directly or indirectly improve the provision for these children, including one proposal which will add 100 places in about six months' time.