HC Deb 12 April 1976 vol 909 cc382-3W
Mr. Edge

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will introduce a system of comprehensive secondary education for all blind and partially sighted children in State schools.

Miss Margaret Jackson

My Department's view has long been that no handicapped child should attend a special school if his needs can be met by an ordinary school, and I am anxious to further this policy. It is not, however, at all easy to provide in ordinary schools the special facilities which some handicapped children require if they are to thrive and make good educational progress. The Vernon Committee on the Education of the Visually Handicapped in its 1972 report recommended that further systematic experiments should be carried out with the education of visually handicapped children in ordinary schools. The regional conferences on special education have had this recommendation drawn to their attention, and I am now considering what more we can do to encourage experiments in the integration of the handicapped. I have no doubt that any such experiments would be welcomed by the Warnock Committee.