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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Report of the County Medical Officer—Education.
St. Mary Magdalene's (B.) School, Paddington, N.—School excursion to Dymchurch, 22nd June
to 8th July. Of 34 boys taking part 33 were examined before and after the journey. All increased
in weight except one, the average increase being l.08 kilos. Twenty-two improved in colour as shown
by haemoglobin tests, 13 showed improvement in the condition of the circulatory system. The result
so far as health is concerned was extremely satisfactory.
Holy Trinity (B.) School, Rotherhithe.—School excursion to Hove,4th September to 18th September.
Fourteen boys, aged 13-14 years, were medically examined on 2nd September and 20th September.
All on their return showed decided improvement in their physical condition and with two exceptions
increased in weight, the average increase being .97 kilos. Four boys before the excursion showed
evidence of poor circulation ; of these three were normal after the holiday.
Alverton-street (G.) School, Deptford.—School journey to North Chapel 15th to 29th June.
The girls making this journey numbered 27. The school doctor reported that all gained decided benefit
from the trip especially certain children in whose case anaemia and cardiac debility were recorded before
the holiday.
Hanover-street (B.) School, Islington, S.—School journey to Malvern 24th May to 7th June.
Twenty-seven boys were examined. Before the holiday the school doctor classified the pupils as—
boys in good health 12, fair health 9, poor health 6. After the holiday he returned them as—in good
health 23, fair health 2, poor health 1 (one boy not re-examined). All those who had been marked
for re-examination on the score of having deficient cardiac tone were found to have improved.
Condition of
During the previous two years (1910 and 1911) the school doctors had been instructed to make
a careful and detailed survey of the condition of the buildings in the case of every school under their
charge. The results of these inspections have been recorded in previous annual reports. The
department therefore possesses a recent record in duplicate of the condition of all school buildings
maintained bv the education authoritv.
In the vast majority of the schools the reports for the year 1911 show no great variation from
the condition found in the preceding year and during 1912, the directions given to the school doctors
were to the effect that they should call attention to any defects that come under their notice during their
visits to the schools for the purpose of medical inspection or reinspection of scholars, and only in
certain special cases have complete reports been called for. Thirty-three schools have been dealt with
in this Wav.

T he following table gives a summary ot the defects reported upon in these 33 schoools:—

Previously reported upon.Condition in 1912.New defects reported in 1912.
Improved.Not improved.
General condition of building4311
Water supply1

On the 23rd July, 1912, the Council agreed, in connection with the adoption of the scheme for
the reduction of the accommodation of classrooms to a maximum of 40 in senior departments and 48 in
infants' departments, (a) to carry out a minimum programme of structural work within three years from
31st March, 1912, (b) to complete the modernising of certain schools within 5 years from 31st March,
1912, (c) to commence the structural work in connection with the modernising of certain schools within
five years from 31st March, 1912, and (d) to reduce the accommodation of 1,000 classrooms to the new
maximum within five years from 31st March, 1912
A considerable number of school buildings have been dealt with in the course of the year in
accordance with this scheme, and an opportunity has thus been afforded of securing the inclusion of
improvements already reported upon as necessary from the hygienic standpoint.
An important modification in procedure has been effected during the year whereby the school
medical officer is invited to send a representative to the preliminary conference of officers upon plans
of all new buildings and remodellings in lieu of, as heretofore, seeing and passing the plans as finally
decided Upon by the other officers. This modification of procedure has been of great value in procuring
the adoption of fundamental principles in regard to lighting, ventilation, etc., at the earliest possible
moment; in addition, the arrangement of many smaller details bearing upon hygienic matters has
been secured, whereas on the old method considerable hesitation would have been felt in disturbing
on this account plans already in a mature state before reaching the school medical officer.