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There are at present three one-year courses of additional training for teachers of backward children, and a further course is arranged to begin this autumn. Two one-term courses are also held each year. My noble Friend hopes shortly to issue a circular on the training of teachers of handicapped children, including backward children.
Is the Minister aware that out of 72,000 children suitable for special schools only one-third can be properly trained, and that about 150 trained teachers are needed every year? This is a very important matter. Can the Minister say whether the consideration now being given to it is likely to produce each year quite that number of specially trained teachers?
I agree that this is an extremely important matter. The circular to which I have referred encourages the establishment of additional training courses for teachers of the handicapped—both one-year courses and shorter courses.