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Educationally Sub-Normal Children

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Education (1) what is the number of teachers, by local education areas, at present in special schools who are specially trained to deal with educationally sub-normal children;(2) what is the number of people specially qualified to teach educationally sub-normal children at present serving in primary, secondary and comprehensive schools, respectively; and what was the average size of their classes at the latest convenient date.

Specialised training is not a requirement for teachers of educationally sub-normal children and no regular return is made of the number of teachers with special qualifications. A special inquiry made last July showed the following number of teachers who have taken one year special courses in the teaching of handicapped pupils (other than the blind, deaf and partially deaf) employed in special and other maintained schools.

Local Education AuthorityTeaching in special schoolsTeaching in other maintained schools
ENGLAND
Counties:
Berkshire1
Buckinghamshire2
Cambridgeshire13
Cheshire1
Cornwall1
Derbyshire72
Devon2
Durham11
Essex127
Gloucestershire3
Hampshire15
Hertfordshire43
Huntingdonshire1
Isle of Ely1
Isle of Wight2
Kent1213
Lancashire106
Leicestershire1
Lincs. (Kesteven)1
Lincs. (Lindsey)3
Middlesex914
Norfolk1
Northumberland21
Nottinghamshire3
Oxfordshire11
Somerset1
Staffordshire92
Suffolk, East12
Suffolk, West1
Surrey63
Sussex, East42
Sussex, West31
Warwickshire111
Wiltshire1
Worcestershire41
Yorks, North Riding21
Yorks, West Riding41
London6423
County Boroughs:
Barnsley1
Barrow-in-Furness1
Birkenhead1
Birmingham304
Blackpool11
Bolton1
Bootle2
Bournemouth1
Brighton1
Bristol3
Coventry11
Croydon2
Darlington1
Derby2
Dudley1
Eastbourne1
East Ham21
Gateshead1
Gloucester1
Great Yarmouth1
Grimsby41
Local Education AuthorityTeaching in special schoolsTeaching in other maintained schools
ENGLAND (cont.):
County Boroughs (cont.):
Huddersfield1
Kingston upon Hull1
Leeds52
Liverpool142
Manchester2
Newcastle upon Tyne21
Northampton2
Norwich1
Oldham1
Oxford3
Portsmouth1
Preston2
Reading1
Rochdale2
St. Helens1
Smethwick1
Southport11
Stockport11
Tynemouth1
Walsall21
Warrington1
West Ham52
Wigan1
WALES
Counties:
Breconshire1
Glamorgan43
Monmouthshire12
Pembrokeshire3
County Boroughs:
Cardiff7
Merthyr Tydfil2
Newport (Mon.)2
Swansea1
TOTALS304137
In addition eleven such teachers were employed in special schools not maintained by local education authorities.The maximum size laid down by Regulations for a class of educationally sub-normal pupils is 20; but my right hon. Friend has no information as to the actual size of such classes in schools other than special schools.

asked the Minister of Education what is the number of children in England and Wales, county by county, who are classified as educationally sub-normal; and what were their age groups at the last convenient date.

The following table gives for the area of each local education authority in January, 1961, the number of educationally sub-normal children who are receiving special educational treatment, except for those receiving it in the ordinary schools, the number of which is not known.

ENGLAND
Counties
Bedfordshire224
Berkshire275
Buckinghamshire507
Cambridgeshire151
Cheshire163
Cornwall74
Cumberland88
Derbyshire398
Devon202
Dorset127
Durham577
Essex1,383
Gloucestershire555
Hampshire224
Hereforshire80
Hertfordshire487
Huntingdonshire39
Isle of Ely75
Isle of Wight10
Isles of Scilly1
Kent854
Lancashire1,334
Leicestershire130
Lincs.—Holland77
Lincs.—Kesteven119
Lincs.—Lindsey206
Middlesex1,316
Norfolk93
Northamptonshire184
Northumberland232
Nottinghamshire243
Oxfordshire128
Peterborough Jt. Education Board37
Rutland1
Shropshire137
Somerset338
Staffordshire503
Suffolk East89
Suffolk West19
Surrey917
Sussex East228
Sussex West323
Warwickshire530
Westmorland28
Wiltshire169
Worcestershire223
Yorks. East Riding90
Yorks. North Riding310
Yorks. West Riding790
London4,100
County Boroughs
Barnsley55
Barrow-in-Furness98
Bath115
Birkenhead117
Birmingham1,290
Blackburn108
Blackpool165
Bolton169
Bootle114
Bournemouth81
Bradford309
Brighton191
Bristol363
Burnley76
Burton-upon-Trent5
Bury71
ENGLAND (cont.):
County Boroughs (cont.):
Canterbury13
Carlisle106
Chester20
Coventry387
Croydon203
Darlington68
Derby197
Dewsbury69
Doncaster90
Dudley99
Eastbourne70
East Ham66
Exeter24
Gateshead26
Gloucester168
Great Yarmouth2
Grimsby119
Halifax107
Hastings68
Huddersfield152
Ipswich104
Kingston upon Hull179
Leeds663
Leicester166
Lincoln68
Liverpool1,845
Manchester751
Middlesbrough171
Newcastle upon Tyne350
Northampton73
Norwich161
Nottingham422
Oldham79
Oxford113
Plymouth286
Portsmouth290
Preston98
Reading151
Rochdale123
Rotherham132
St. Helens94
Salford93
Sheffield538
Smethwick137
Southampton151
Southend-on-Sea116
Southport6
South Shields142
Stockport155
Stoke-on-Trent143
Sunderland218
Tynemouth75
Wakefield75
Wallasey119
Walsall223
Warrington154
West Bromwich153
West Ham171
West Hartlepool82
Wigan10
Wolverhampton152
Worcester23
York91
WALES
Counties
Anglesey75
Breconshire11
Caernarvonshire43
Cardiganshire15
Carmarthenshire43
Denbighshire83
WALES (cont.):
Counties (cont.)
Flintshire7
Glamorgan227
Merioneth8
Monmouthshire62
Montgomeryshire53
Pembrokeshire25
Radnorshire6
County Boroughs
Cardiff306
Merthyr Tydfil
Newport (Mon.)132
Swansea136
Totals (England and Wales)35,347
Details of the ages of the children in the areas of individual authorities are not available. The numbers of children in special schools for educationally subnormal children, classified by age in January, 1960, for the country as a whole can be found on page 172 of my Department's Annual Report for 1960.

asked the Minister of Education how many trained psychiatrists are employed by him to test children reported as educationally subnormal by head teachers; and how long a period of time elapses between report and test.

Local education authorities have a duty to ascertain which children in their area require special educational treatment. For the purpose of testing children believed to be educationally sub-normal they usually employ school medical officers with special training and educational psychologists. Psychiatrists are not ordinarily engaged in this work. Every attempt is made to test a child as soon as possible after he comes to the notice of the local education authority. The period varies according to local conditions; delays are often unavoidable owing to a shortage of qualified staff and I am looking into this aspect of the matter.