HC Deb 08 July 1918 vol 108 cc30-1
44. Sir J. D. REES

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he has any estimate of the cost of providing for medical treatment for children educated in public elementary schools; if so, what is the amount of such estimate; and, if not, will he prepare such an estimate before making any proposal to Parliament in this behalf?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Herbert Fisher)

In 1916–17 the total expenditure of local education authorities for the purposes of Section 13 (1) (b) of the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act, 1907, upon medical inspection and treatment of children in public elementary schools was about £420,000. It may be expected that in any case this expenditure will increase after the War in response to the public demand for the improvement and development of the school medical service, but any estimate of the ultimate expenditure must be speculative.

Sir J. D. REES

Am I to understand that the right hon. Gentleman is going to have an estimate made of the increased cost under the new Education Bill?


The last part of my answer was that any estimate of expenditure must be speculative.


Can the right hon. Gentleman state what the cost to the nation would have been if these children had not received medical treatment?


No, Sir.

Major WOOD

Will the right hon. Gentleman give the House even a speculative estimate?


All I can say is that at the present moment £420,000 are being expended upon medical inspection and treatment of children in respect of 279 out of 318 local education authorities.

Sir J. D. REES

Is it not clear that that figure must be very largely increased if the provision he is considering is passed? Does the right hon. Gentleman propose to ask the House to legislate on speculation?


It is quite obvious that the estimate must very largely depend upon the amount of treatment which the local education authorities are willing to provide.