asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many boys were held in remand homes awaiting places in approved schools during the last six months of 1961; and what proposals he has for taking into account time spent in remand homes while waiting for vacancies in approved schools towards completion of sentence.
The total figure for the last six months of 1961 is not yet available, but on 31st December there were 396 boys in remand homes awaiting places in approved schools. The maximum period for which a boy may legally be detained in an approved school runs from the date the approved school order and includes any time spent in a remand home while awaiting admission to a school. Managers of approved schools have a statutory duty to release a boy as soon as he has made sufficient progress in his training.
I thank my hon. and learned Friend for the last part of his Answer, but does not he agree that much strain is put on the staffs of remand homes by these boys being held there because places in approved schools are not available? Can he hold out any hope of the waiting list being cleared in due course?
There is a strain on the staffs and other people connected with remand homes as a result of the blockage of remand homes. Fortunately, the position is improving.It is planned to provide between 350 and 400 additional approved school places for boys in the present year, with a further expansion of much the same kind in the following year. We think that this will go a long way to ease the blockage.