§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
asked the President of the Board of Education whether the Board have now received Reports from every county in England and Wales showing the results for a complete year of the medical inspection of the children in the elementary schools; whether such Reports disclose the fact that over forty per cent, of such children are suffering from some physical defect, and that over twenty per cent, require, and should receive, some medical treatment; and whether, both in the interests of the national physique and to avoid the serious waste of public money consequent upon 343 the attempt to educate children who are more or less physically incapable of receiving education, the Board propose to take any, and, if so, what, steps to remedy the condition disclosed by the above Reports?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
With reference to the first part of the question, the Board have received reports for the year 1909 from about two-thirds of the local authorities concerned. It is not possible to state the facts revealed by the reports which have been received in the form suggested in the second part of the question. The Report of the chief medical officer, based upon the reports received from the local education authorities, will be prepared in due course and will deal fully with the conclusions which can reasonably be drawn from the results of the medical inspection for the year in question. As regards the third part of the question, the hon. Member is no doubt aware that local education authorities have the power, with the approval of the Board of Education, under Section 13 (1) (b) of the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act, 1907, to make arrangements for attending to the health and physical condition of the children educated in public elementary schools. This power is being exercised in various ways by many authorities.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
May I ask whether as soon as the whole of the reports on this subject have been received by the Board, the right hon. Gentleman will not issue an analysis of the several disorders from which the children suffer?
§ Mr. WEDGWOOD
Will the Report include any report as to what children are actually being treated at the schools besides being examined?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
I cannot say exactly what the Report will contain. I have no doubt it will deal with that subject in one way or another.