HC Deb 27 March 1913 vol 50 cc1836-7
74. Mr. ALDEN

asked the President of the Board of Education whether, when requested by local education authorities, he has allowed the time spent by school children in attending the oculist's surgery to be reckoned towards the minimum period required under Article 43 of the Code for the purposes of a Grant; and, if so, whether he can see his way to allow the time spent by school children in attending the school clinic, on or adjacent to the school premises, provided by the local education authority for the treatment of other ailments, to be reckoned towards the minimum period required under Article 43 for the purposes of a Grant?


With regard to the first part of the question, in certain exceptional cases attendances of school children at oculists' surgeries have been allowed to be reckoned for purposes of Grant. With regard to the second part of the question, I explained the difficulties in connection with the registration of attendances of children for medical treatment at school clinics, hospitals, private surgeries, and elsewhere in answer to questions on this subject yesterday, and I am afraid I can add nothing to the information I have al ready given.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that the case of a child who is deaf and is unable to benefit by the Education Department's school will be treated in the same way as a child who happens to be short-sighted? It seems to me to be rather illogical to make a distinction.


It is a question with regard to medical inspection under the terms of the Act, and depends upon technicalities of that kind as to whether deafness can be treated in exactly the same way as children are treated who go to oculists.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the issue of an Order allowing children attending a school clinic to be absent for a maximum number of hours per week, say, two hours per week, which would include a large number of cases and rule out those where absence would really be detrimental? Will he consider that proposal?


I will certainly consider it. The whole matter is receiving our careful consideration, and we wish to get over the difficulties I have already mentioned.