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Volume 886: debated on Monday 17 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to set up a centre for information and advice on educational disadvantage.

I will consider the need for such a centre after I have the report of the seminar on educational disadvantage which my Department is proposing to arrange.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will initiate a national conference on the subject of information and advice centres for the educationally disadvantaged.

My Department has already initiated discussions with the Association of Directors of Education about the planning of a seminar on various aspects of educational disadvantage and methods to combat it.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what educational help he plans to give to areas where children are likely to suffer from socially disadvantageous conditions.

A circular issued by my Department last July drew attention to the publication of the report on the Dundee Educational Priority Area experiment and to the importance which the Government attach to measures to help disadvantaged children, and pointed out that most of the measures tried in Dundee were within the discretion of education authorities to adopt if they wished. In addition, education authorities may apply for grant for educational projects in areas of special social need which they think may qualify for assistance under the urban programme. The allocations made to education authorities for the nursery education building programme were weighted in favour of areas of social need, and authorities were asked to give priority to such areas in the early years of the programme.