Oral Answers to Questions — Education (Physically Unfit Children).

– in the House of Commons am ar 31 Gorffennaf 1935.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

60.

asked the President of the Board of Education the approximate respective number of children who are at present receiving no education because of blindness, lameness and other physical disability?

Photo of Mr Herwald Ramsbotham Mr Herwald Ramsbotham , Lancaster

According to the returns furnished by local education authorities, there were on 31st December, 1934, 332 blind or partially blind children in England and Wales under the age of 16, not attending any school or institution. The corresponding figure for deaf or partially deaf children was 228, and for children suffering from crippling defects or heart disease 3,560. These figures, however, require a good deal of qualification, as they include some children under the age of compulsory school attendance, some who are receiving treatment prior to admission to special schools, some whose parents are unwilling for them to be sent to residential schools, and some whose defects are so severe that their education in special schools is impracticable.

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

Can the hon. Gentleman tell us if the figures quoted to the end of 1934 are substantially less? Are they getting smaller, or do they remain the same year after year?

Photo of Mr Herwald Ramsbotham Mr Herwald Ramsbotham , Lancaster

I am very glad to say that things are very much better than when the hon. Gentleman asked a question in 1930. The corresponding figures then, were: blind children, 557; deaf children, 305; and crippled children, 5,461—a great improvement.