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Board of Education and successors: Medical Branch and Special Services Branch: Local Education Authority School Health Service, Registered Files (M, WM, ML and WML Series)

ED 137
Board of Education and successors: Medical Branch and Special Services Branch: Local Education Authority School Health Service, Registered Files (M, WM, ML and WML Series)

Local education authority files on various aspects of the school health and medical services, including files on school clinics and child guidance.

The earliest surviving papers of this general series of LEA files are reports by HMIs and the Ministry's medical officers on authorities' administration of the school health service (circa 1930). Other early papers include matters arising in connection with part VII of the Education Act 1921.

Most pieces in this series, however, commence with the 1938 LEA special service staffing returns, and lead on to the rather meagre second world war records, including replies to Circular 1490, School Health Services in War-Time; various staffing arrangements and medical treatment of evacuated children.

Subsequent papers are, inter alia, those generated in connection with the Education Act 1944, the Handicapped Pupils and School Health Service Regulations 1945, and the effects of the National Health Service Act 1946 on the school health service (Circulars 29, 41 and 179 respectively).


The A file series, which includes annual reports of school medical officers and school dental service reports, is arranged in county and county borough order.

Separated Material:
The series has suffered much destruction prior to 1945 and little material before that date is extant.
Held by:
The National Archives, Kew
Former references:
in its original department:   M file series, WM file series, ML file series and WML file series
Legal status:
Public Record
Board of Education, Medical Branch, 1923-1944
Department of Education and Science, Medical Branch, 1970-1972
Department of Education and Science, Special Education Branch, 1970-1972
Department of Education and Science, Special Services Branch, 1964-1970
Ministry of Education, Medical Branch, 1944-1948
Ministry of Education, Special Services Branch, 1948-1964
Physical description:
728 file(s)
Access conditions:
Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Selection and destruction information:
The papers on two A general files, Gloucestershire County Council and Burnley County Borough Council, have been retained intact (apart from some early weeding of ephemeral material). In addition, two series of local education authority (LEA) files of minor importance concerned with school clinics (B files of which a few sample files have been kept) and child guidance aspects of the school health service (R files), have been preserved and are listed under the appropriate LEA area.
Administrative / biographical background:

Consultation with the Ministry of Health took place frequently where the duties of the two departments overlapped. Section 48(3) of the Education Act 1944 gave rise to considerable correspondence with LEAs in connection with the payments to voluntary hospitals, and led to the issue of Circular 102 in 1946. Subsequently the section was amended in the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1948.

A proliferation of school health clinics resulted from the Report of the Committee on Maladjusted Children (Underwood Committee) 1955 and the issue of Circular 347 in 1959. Replies to the latter indicated progress made towards setting up a comprehensive child guidance service. Progress was monitored by occasional inspections of clinics by Ministry medical officers.

As the school health service became established provision became largely routine and this is reflected in the progressively less important material in the files.

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