London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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London County Council 1912

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]

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176 Annual Report of the Lonclon County Council, 1912.
and candidates
The medical examination of candidates for the Council's scholarships serves a triple purpose.
It prevents Unsuitable scholars from taking up awards ; it is a factor in promoting the health and wellbeing
of suitable scholars by insisting on the remedying of remediable defects ; and it safeguards the
Council against pecuniary loss due to the payment of grants to scholars who are physically unfit to
take advantage of a scholarship, and whose ultimate breakdown is but a matter of time.
The scholarships and awards granted by the Council fall into three divisions, each of which requires
different treatment in so far as the medical examination of the candidates is concerned. These divisions
are as follows—
(а) County scholarships enabling candidates to proceed to institutions of university rank.
(b) Technical scholarships enabling candidates to receive instruction in trades; and
special scholarships.
(c) Awards enabling candidates to prepare for the teaching profession.
The County scholarships are of four grades (junior, supplementary junior, intermediate, and
senior) and provide a complete scheme by which a boy or girl may proceed by various stages from the
public elementary school to the highest grades of education, whether at a university, technical college
or other institution, providing advanced training for a professional career. In medically examining
these candidates the stage of the scholarship is carefully noted, as the strain increases with the award,
and it sometimes happens that a candidate who has been accepted for a junior county scholarship is
rejected for the succeeding awards because attendance at higher institutions would be injurious to health.
The medical examination of junior county scholars practically gives the defects of the brightest
children of the age group, 11 years old last birthday, and, as the children must, in any case, remain
in school Until 14 years of age, the rejections are few. Most useful work is done, however, by making
it a condition of award that all remediable defects shall be treated before the children are allowed to
take up the scholarships.
Supplementary junior county scholarships are reserved for children of less than 14 and not less
than 13 years of age who by reason of late development or other cause fail to obtain the junior county
The intermediate county scholarships are open to boys and girls who are from 16 to 17 years of
age on 31st July in the year of competition, and are tenable at approved secondary schools or technical
colleges Until the end of the school year in which the scholar attains the age of 18, but may be in special
cases renewed for a further period of one year.
The senior county scholarships are intended to assist candidates of the age of 18 and upwards
who desire to pursue a course of study at an institution of university rank.
Appendix IIIa. shows the number of candidates for county scholarships examined and the
conditions found.

Of the 769 junior county scholars who were referred back for various defects, excluding those 15 whose scholarships were finally withdrawn, 87 (32 boys and 55 girls) were referred again owing to the conditions not having been remedied. A further analysis of these numbers shows that the causes of the second reference were for—

Sex.Want of cleanliness. (1)Vision. (2)Teeth. (3)Throat. (4)Ears. (5)Ringworm. (6)Nose. (7)

Some of the scholars were referred again for more than one defect.
Of the 120 supplementary junior county scholars who were referred back for various defects, 1
boy was referred again owing to a defect of vision not having been remedied, and 4 girls were also referred
for defects of vision, and 4 girls for personal hvsiene.

The following table shows the nature of the defects of 15 junior county scholars who were rejected—

Sex.Want of cleanliness.Vision.Teeth.Throat.Heart.Tuberculosis.General health.

Three supplementary junior county scholars were rejected ; 1 boy on account of hearing and 2
girls owing to unsatisfactory personal hygiene.
Of the candidates passed as fit 39 junior county scholars, 6 supplementary junior county scholars,
4 intermediate county scholars and 1 senior county scholar were accepted with defects that did not
easily lend themselves to treatment but which would not interfere with their studies.
The Council's scheme of trade scholarships is intended to encourage students to devote themselves
to special branches of technical or industrial work. In medically examining the candidates the standard
of examination is varied according to the trade that the scholar proposes to follow, because each trade
has its peculiar effect upon the health of the workers.