HC Deb 01 July 1948 vol 452 cc2359-60
38 and 39. Mr. Anthony Greenwood

asked the Minister of Education (1) whether he has now reminded education authorities of the standing instructions issued by the Ministry of Health and his Department that a teacher found to be suffering from active tuberculosis shall be suspended from teaching;

(2) whether he has considered the desirability of making it compulsory for all teachers to have a regular medical overhaul in order to ensure that they are not carriers of tuberculosis; and what decision he has reached.

The Minister of Education (Mr. Tomlinson)

I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of a memorandum which has been issued reminding education authorities of the action to be taken when a teacher is found to be suffering from active tuberculosis. The memorandum does not require teachers to be medically examined at regular intervals after their entry into teaching service.

Mr. Greenwood

Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that it is extremely dangerous to rely on a medical inspection which may have taken place 15, 20 or 25 years earlier, probably without the assistance of radiography, and how does he propose to make his answer effective without regular medical inspections?

Mr. Tomlinson

My hon. Friend will see from the memorandum that I am suggesting greater use might be made of mass radiography. But compulsion is a question, I think, which would need to be very carefully considered.

Mr. Somerville Hastings

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether more could not be done to encourage teachers to have examinations by mass radiography every five or ten years?

Mr. Tomlinson

I think my hon. Friend will find that that question is raised in the memorandum.

Sir Wavell Wakefield

Is the memorandum to be printed in HANSARD or made available in the Library to hon. Members?

Mr. Tomlinson

It has been sent by the Ministry of Education to local authorities, but it could be put in the Library if desired.

Sir W. Wakefield

Would the right hon. Gentleman put it in the Library?

Mr. Tomlinson


Mr. Rankin

Would my right hon. Friend also extend that idea to doctors, nurses, milk attendants and all other people who are in very close contact with children today?