Clydebank High School

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Cyril Bence Mr Cyril Bence , Dunbartonshire East 12:00 am, 17th December 1957

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received respecting the occurrence which took place in Clydebank High School, particulars of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Dunbartonshire, resulting in considerable distress to children and parents.

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

I have received only the representations which the hon. Member forwarded to me from the parent of one of the children concerned. I have written to the hon. Member giving him the results of my inquiries into this regrettable incident.

Photo of Mr Cyril Bence Mr Cyril Bence , Dunbartonshire East

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for the very extensive reply which I received this morning, and while accepting many of the points which he makes in that reply, may I ask him if he does not think that it is practically impossible to effect the recruitment of teachers into the general body of education on the basis of their being handpicked by the Director of Education, and that hand-picking for general skill is almost impossible? Does not this demonstrate it is absolutely essential that before anyone goes into a school to teach children, he or she should be properly educated and be certificated as being capable of teaching?

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

Of course, we are anxious to get the maximum number of certificated teachers possible, but I would point out that these 43 uncertificated teachers employed in Dunbartonshire are reported to be achieving a very large measure of success.

Photo of Mr Cyril Bence Mr Cyril Bence , Dunbartonshire East

That is all very well, but this is a case of a breakdown of the teacher-student relationship prejudicing the public interest. How often in the case of an uncertificated teacher is there shown to be a breakdown between students and teacher in fields about which no one knows, because in the case of uncertificated teachers I am assured by many people that breakdowns occur very frequently?

Photo of Hon. John Maclay Hon. John Maclay , Renfrewshire West

I can only say that this incident, very regrettable as it is, is the first of its kind that has been brought to my attention.