HL Deb 10 March 1981 vol 418 cc275-6WA
Baroness Jeger

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many children of school age are known to be suffering from epilepsy; how many are at ordinary schools and how many at special schools.

The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Baroness Young)

This information is not available in the form requested. For England and Wales, a collaborative study of morbidity in general practice was carried out in 1970–72 by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys and the Department of Health and Social Security. This study involved volunteer general practitioners with a total registered population of over 290,000. If the published results from the study were applied to the total population of England and Wales it is estimated that in the course of a year about 20,000 children aged 5–14 consult their general practitioner about an illness which is labelled epilepsy. It is not known how many children suffering from epilepsy are at ordinary schools or how many are at special schools where the main handicap is one other than epilepsy. Some statistics are collected and published annually by the education departments but they are not comprehensive and are not collected on a uniform basis. In January 1980 there were about 600 children at schools specially for epileptic pupils.

House adjourned at one minute before two o'clock.