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Illiterate Children

Volume 389: debated on Tuesday 18 May 1943

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asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is in a position to make any statement as to the degree of literacy of the present school generation; and whether he has any information as to the number of boys and girls in senior schools and in youth clubs who cannot read?

No, Sir, the information which my hon. Friend desires is not available.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that there are a number of young people who leave school illiterate, partly due to very large classes which involve the bringing-up of a child with an age group and not getting proper attention?

I should not like to generalise, but there are instances of what the hon. Member refers to. I think one of the reasons is that there is no con- tinuing education after children leave school, and they are very often tested long after they have left school and have not had facilities for continuing the education they ought to have had.

May I take it that the right hon. Gentleman is going to get rid of that disability in future?