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Special Education (Melville Report)

Volume 23: debated on Monday 10 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he intends to repeal paragraph 24(3) of the Schools (Scotland) Code 1956;(2) which of the recommendations of the Melville report were fully implemented by the Education (Scotland) (Mentally Handicapped Children) Act 1974; and whether it is his intention to implement the remaining recommendations.

The 1974 Act gave effect to the main educational recommendation of the Melville report—that no child should be regarded as ineducable and that education authorities should assume responsibility for the education of all mentally handicapped children including those placed in mental deficiency hospitals. Many of its other recommendations, relating to the training and deployment of staff, have also been implemented by the responsible education, social work and training authorities.The remaining recommendations in the educational field fall to be considered in the context of the new legislation contained in the Education (Scotland) Act 1981 on special educational needs, which it is hoped will be implemented later this year or early in 1983.In the White Paper "Special Educational Needs in Scotland" (Cmnd 7991) the Government announced their intention to consult on matters relating to the conduct of special schools and classes. A consultative document will be issued in due course and is expected to contain proposals for the repeal of Regulation 24(3) of the Schools (Scotland) Code 1956.