HC Deb 25 November 1937 vol 329 cc1395-6
44. Mr. F. Anderson

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education how many education authorities have acted upon Circular 1450 to provide clothing and shoes for physical training; how many of such authorities are providing clothes and shoes for the exclusive use of each child; and what steps are being taken in other cases to prevent the transmission of disease from one child to another by the wearing of clothes and shoes which are treated as common property of the authority?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education (Mr. Kenneth Lindsay)

The Board have no information which would enable me to answer the first two parts of the hon. Member's question. As regards the last part of the question, the Board have indicated in Circular 1450 that each child's kit should be marked with the child's name, should not be left in contact with other kit, and should be cleaned before being given to another child. The local education authorities are well aware of the importance of these precautions.

Mr. Anderson

Is it not necessary that every child should have a separate kit? Apart from any precautions that may be taken, is it not in the best interests of hygiene and health that two children should not share one kit? How many authorities ensure this?

Mr. Lindsay

We circulated this Memorandum about a year ago and I cannot give the exact information as to each authority, but wherever I go I see many cases where it is complied with. I think that, on the whole, local authorities are increasingly using this method.

Mr. Anderson

Is it still intended that the Board of Education should go on suggesting that, even with the precautions they mention, two children should share one kit which another child may have worn?

Mr. Lindsay

The Memorandum carefully goes the other way, as the hon. Member will see in the third paragraph.

Sir Percy Harris

Is not this expenditure subject to grant by the Board of Education?

Mr. Lindsay

Yes, 20 per cent.

Sir P. Harris

Does not that mean that the Board must have the information as to the number of local authorities, because they must give the information in order to get the grant?

Mr. Lindsay

Yes, but there is a limit to the number of forms a headmaster can be expected to fill up.