§ Mr. Gordon Wilson
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the average length of stay in approved or List D schools in each year since 1967; what conclusions he draws from any trends; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. McElhone
The average length of stay in the years 1967 to 1971 was, respectively, 16, 15, 16, 16 and 16 months. Between the introduction of the system of children's hearings in 1971 and the new system of social work statistics in 1976 information was not collected centrally in the precise form requested. Statistics for the year ending 31st March 1977 are in preparation and I shall write to the hon. Member when these are available. The period for which any child remains in a List D school is decided by a children's hearing, which is required to review supervision requirements at regular intervals. I have no reason to believe that there has been any significant change in the average duration of stay in the schools since the introduction of the system of children's hearings.