Teachers

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th April 1965.

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Mr. Edward M. Taylor:

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is now the extent of the shortage of teachers in Scotland; and what proportion of the shortage is in respect of schools operated by the Glasgow Education Authority.

Photo of Mrs Judith Hart Mrs Judith Hart , Lanark

The education authorities estimated, in October 1964, that they required 3,683 more teachers to fill vacancies, to replace uncertificated teachers and re-employ teachers over the age of 70 and to reduce classes to the presribed maximum sizes. Glasgow Education Authority's estimate was 1,226 one-third of the total.

Mr. Taylor:

If Glasgow has one-fifth of the population of Scotland and, as she indicated in a Written Reply only last week, 97 per cent. of all the pupils in Scotland receiving part-time education are in Glasgow, is not there a case for urgent discussion with the Glasgow Corporation to ascertain what special steps need to be taken to deal with this serious situation?

Photo of Mrs Judith Hart Mrs Judith Hart , Lanark

I had such discussions in January. Glasgow's shortage is certainly very serious, but it is not the only area with such difficulties. The Dame Jean Roberts Committee is looking into this. We are constantly discussing the matter with the education authorities, including Glasgow.

Photo of Mr Alexander Garrow Mr Alexander Garrow , Glasgow Pollok

Is my hon. Friend aware that on many occasions under the last Government there were discussions between Glasgow Corporation and the then Secretary of State for Scotland on this self-same problem, but that little or no action was taken?

Photo of Mrs Judith Hart Mrs Judith Hart , Lanark

Fundamentally, the question is one of the supply of teachers generally. I think that hon. Members have seen some of the steps which we have recently been taking on this matter. My right hon. Friend hopes to be able to make a statement shortly on further measures. This is fundamentally the problem, and until it is solved Glasgow's special difficulties cannot be completely met in any ad hoc way.