Medical Examinations (Children)

Oral Answers to Questions — Education – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th July 1946.

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Photo of Mr John Battley Mr John Battley , Wandsworth Clapham 12:00 am, 18th July 1946

asked the Minister of Education whether, in view of the necessity for obtaining comparative statistics, she will direct local education authorities to make examinations to ascertain the comparative heights and weights of schoolchildren of five to 14 years of age, as soon as possible this year and at the close of suitable periods of, say, five or 10 years.

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

The view of my medical advisers is that records of height and weight should be made of each child at least three times a year, not only from the point of view of comparative statistics but in order to watch and record the growth rate of individual children. I am afraid that this cannot be undertaken yet, because of the shortage of medical and particularly nursing staff, and, incidentally, of weighing machines. A standard medical card is, however, being prepared in the Ministry, and with it will be issued a memorandum to local education authorities on its use and on medical inspection generally, including advice about the periodic weighing and measuring of children.

Photo of Mr Somerville Hastings Mr Somerville Hastings , Barking

Could not this work he undertaken just as well by the teachers?

Photo of Miss Ellen Wilkinson Miss Ellen Wilkinson , Jarrow

I feel that I can hardly ask the teachers to do any more than they are doing at present.