HC Deb 14 April 1927 vol 205 cc551-2W
Commander BELLAIRS

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he can give a comparative table of the age, or range of ages, at which compulsory education commences in Great Britain, the United States of America, France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Italy, and any other countries that it may be thought desirable to include; and whether the Board has any medical Reports showing the relative susceptibility of very young children to infectious diseases?


In England and Wales attendance is obligatory from the age of five to the end of the term in which the age of 14 is reached; in France attendance is obligatory from six to 13; in Holland from seven to 13; in Italy and Belgium from six to 14; in Denmark, Sweden and Norway from seven to 14. In the United States, Germany and Switzerland there is some variety of practice as between one State or Canton and another. I will, however, send my hon. Friend such information as I have. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative, but some interesting information on the subject of the incidence of infectious diseases in children of school age is given in the Chief Medical Officer's Reports for 1923 (Section V) and 1924 (Section VII), and, as regards London in particular, in the Annual Reports of the Metropolitan Asylums Board. I understand from my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, that the age incidence varies according to the nature of the infection, but, generally, for the commoner infections the age period chiefly affected is three to five years of age. Fatality is greatest in the first year of life and declines progressively thereafter.