§ Mrs. Doris Fisher
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether it is her policy to support a general examination into special education of handicapped children, on the 512W lines recommended in the Plowden Report on Children and their Primary Schools.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will now set up a committee of inquiry to investigate the special educational needs of handicapped children: and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Cormack
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will appoint a committee to inquire into the special educational needs of mentally handicapped children.
§ Mr. Parkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she has completed her consideration of the need for a further inquiry into the education of handicapped children.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
Yes. Against the background of the reorganisation of local government and of the health and youth employment services in 1974, I believe that the time is ripe for a general inquiry which will go somewhat beyond the specifically educational needs of the handicapped. I propose therefore, in conjunction with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales—and after consultation with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Social Services and Employment—to appoint a committee with the following terms of referenceTo review educational provision in England, Scotland and Wales for children and young people handicapped by disabilities of body or mind, taking account of the medical aspects of their needs, together with arrangements to prepare them for entry into employment; to consider the most effective use of resources for these purposes; and to make recommendations.Separate announcements about the chairman and membership will be made later.