Colleges of Education (Graduates)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th February 1965.

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Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South 12:00 am, 17th February 1965

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will take steps to provide graduates with a salary instead of a student's allowance during their training at a college of education.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

I have nothing to add at present to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Shettleston (Sir M. Galpern), on 23rd December last.

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

Does the right hon. Gentleman recall that when all those representing Scottish seats on the benches opposite were in opposition they said that this was a very easy and simple thing to do, and asked the Government why it could not be carried out? How is it that he has taken so long not to do this easy and simple thing?

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

The hon. Lady no doubt remembers the Knox Committee's Report in 1957. She did not do very much in respect of that from 1957 to 1964. I trust that she will give us a few months where she took years to do nothing. I hope she will appreciate what I said in my Answer, and I meant it, that I was not yet convinced about what should be done. Not all my hon. Friends nor I spoke on this aspect of education at the time. Many of us realised the difficulties.

Photo of Mr Arthur Woodburn Mr Arthur Woodburn , Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the reason given by many graduates for taking a job in industry is that a salary is at once payable? Would not he agree that they do this rather than go to colleges of education where they feel that it is an unfair sacrifice to have to do without a salary for a whole year, which salary they can get at once in industry? Would not it be a useful experiment to see whether it would be possible to pay them the salary of probationer teachers during their training period at colleges of education?

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

I think that there is a lot in what my right hon. Friend says. That is why we are looking into this at the moment.

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that it was precisely because we saw the difficulties that we did not do anything about this recommendation of the Knox Committee? I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on at last seeing the wisdom of the last Administration.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

As I understand the position, the Opposition have made up their mind that nothing can be done about this. I have said that I am prepared to be convinced that something can be done.