HC Deb 02 February 1995 vol 253 cc782-3W
Mr. Wallace

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment she has made of the incidence of the problem of head lice in schools; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Forth

Neither the Department for Education nor the Department of Health, which leads in this subject, conducts surveys of the incidence of head lice in schools. There are limited benefits in holding such information centrally because the incidence fluctuates so quickly and widely. However, figures maintained by the pharmaceutical industry show that around 2.5 million units of head lice treatment are supplied through retail pharmacies each year.

The Government seek to combat this distressing problem through advice to teachers, children and parents as part of health promotion in schools.