1945 Institutions Legislation and Policy

Legislation and Policies

Education (Scotland) Act brought special education within remit of local education authorities.


Education (Scotland) Act: brought special education within the remit of local education authorities. It gave them a duty to assess children from the age of five and to report to the local health authority, for the purposes of the Mental Deficiency Act, any child that it considered incapable of being educated.66 The assessment was based on IQ tests and reinforced the notion that children whose IQ was below a certain level should be separated from other children. Although the intention had been that the majority of children with disabilities would be educated in their local school, shortages of suitable school buildings and qualified teachers after the war led to large class sizes and made it difficult for pupils with additional needs to be included. 67 Special education came to mean special schools. The 1945 Act excluded from education and training entirely children with the most severe disabilities who were considered to be ‘ineducable’. These children became the responsibility of the new National Health Service.