asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many of the 6,300 inquiries regarding the teacher training scheme received by his Department in the month of May have been followed by firm applications; how many of these have been accepted for training; and whether he will give comparable figures for inquiries received in June.
Since the Special Recruitment Scheme campaign was launched on 12th April, 10,392 inquiries have been received, including 5,421 in May and 3,313 in June. In the same period the Colleges of Education have received 726 applications, of which 171 have been accepted so far, 118 have been provisionally accepted pending the outcome of examinations, 151 have been deferred for further consideration until the applicants acquire certain preliminary educational qualifications and 20 have been withdrawn or rejected. The remainder have yet to be interviewed.
It would not be possible, without undue labour, to relate these figures to initial inquiries received in particular months.
Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied with these percentages? It would seem that they are rather disappointing. Does he think that further steps should be taken later?
This campaign is a very much bigger one than has been mounted hitherto. The number of inquiries made and the follow-up and the number of applications received have been very heartening. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that we are far from dissatisfied with the position. We hope that even more inquiries will be forthcoming and that these will result in a further supply of teachers. It is very heartening to have had 10,392, bearing in mind that campaigns prior to this one had already taken people out of this field who might have been potential teachers. We hope to have a record number of teachers recruited under this scheme.
They are of all kinds, but we are going to have a greater degree of follow-up to see what happens to applicants prevented from following through to a course and find out whether or not with some help and advice they can fit themselves with qualifications and be able to take advantage of this recruitment scheme. I hope that the statistics will be available later.