asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the present net annual increase in the Scottish schoolteacher force; and, on this basis, what he estimates to be the average size of classes after raising the school-leaving age to 16 years as compared with the present time.
Between 1964–65 and 1965–66, the latest session for which figures are at present available, there was a net increase of 444 in the number of certificated teachers in public and grant-aided schools. A significant expansion of the teaching force is in prospect with the increasing number of teachers entering training, but it is impossible at this stage to give an estimate of the average size of classes when the school-leaving age is raised in 1970–71.
Will the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that, even if it means having temporarily larger size classes, the Government will not abandon the principle of raising the school leaving age?