Teachers (Scotland)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:53 pm on 11th February 1985.

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Photo of Mr Allan Stewart Mr Allan Stewart , East Renfrewshire 11:53 pm, 11th February 1985

I am grateful to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, East (Mr. Strang) for making it clear that he intended no personal criticism of me in his opening remarks, but I found his comments about my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State both spurious and bogus. [HON. MEMBERS: "Where is he?"] This Adjournment debate is being handled in entirely the normal way. I assure the House that my right hon. Friend is deeply concerned, as is the whole House, about the situation in Scottish education. That is why my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State personally met the unions and the management side before he reached a decision on the request for a review. That is why, immediately there was a request from the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee, he agreed to another meeting. That meeting took place on 28 January.

I note that the hon. Members for Falkirk, East (Mr. Ewing) and Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar), who represent the Scottish Opposition on education matters, are in their places. The hon. Member for Edinburgh, East has referred purely to pay. It is important to clarify the position. Opposition Members originally signed an early-day motion on pay and conditions of service. The teacher unions have never asked for an independent review of pay and conditions of service.