HC Deb 23 February 1939 vol 344 cc559-60
56. Mr. G. Griffiths

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education the number of school entrants for the 12 months to the last convenient date found on inspection to be suffering from malnutrition or to require dental treatment, respectively, and the percentage in both cases to the total entrants?

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

Of 571,082 entrants to public elementary schools in England and Wales medically examined during the year 1937, the latest period for which figures are available, 3,314, or 0.6 per cent., were found to have bad nutrition and 58,267, or 10.2 per cent., slightly subnormal nutrition. Separate figures are not available to show the percentage of entrants who required dental treatment.

Mr. J. Morgan

What is the standard of malnutrition which is applied in such a case?

Mr. Lindsay

Obviously I cannot give an answer to that at Question Time, but I shall be glad to give complete details to the hon. Gentleman. There is some slight variation as between various authorities.

Viscountess Astor

Is it not true that 16 per cent. of children entering the elementary schools are suffering in some way from physical defects, and that if they had had the advantage of nursery schools it would be only 7 per cent.?

Mr. Lindsay

The standard is improving.