HC Deb 13 January 1977 vol 923 cc543-4W
Mr. Reid

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to cater for the needs of disabled children within the ordinary school system, with special reference to: (a) setting up resources centres in selected schools so that children with particular handicaps can get the help they need, (b) ensuring that parents are fully involved in choosing their child's school and in developing integration schemes and (c) determining that all future educational buildings should be fully accessible for the disabled.

Mr. McElhone

It is established policy that disabled children should attend ordinary schools wherever it is practicable and in their best interest to do so. Circular No. 782, of which I am sending a copy to the hon. Member, published in February 1971, drew the attention of education authorities to the requirement in the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 that schools should so far as practicable and reasonable be provided with access and facilities suitable for disabled pupils; authorities are implementing this requirement to the extent that their resources allow.

Subject to problems of access or facilities, the parents of disabled children have the same rights of choice of school as other parents, except in cases of disability so severe that the child is ascertained as requiring special education. In

(2) how many persons were discharged from mental illness and mental handicap hospitals in Scotland in 1975.

Mr. Harry Ewing

The available information is set out in the table below:

such cases the parents have a statutory right of appeal to the Secretary of State under Section 66A of the Education (Scotland) Act 1962 as amended. Educational provision for the handicapped is at present under consideration by the Warnock Committee.