Sir Keith Joseph: I am ready to take into account any proposal that would enable more sensible negotiations to occur. Unless there is a willingness to negotiate, changes in the negotiating machinery will not make much difference.
Sir Keith Joseph: Precisely. The purpose of appraisal is to further the professional development and career prospects of teachers. It is coupled with the much expanded and more effective in-service training system that we propose. Taxpayers' money has been set aside to run pilot schemes on appraisal but, sadly, these are being blocked by the teachers' unions, which will not agree to carry them forward. I hope...
Sir Keith Joseph: The teachers' unions seem explicitly to be following a campaign of maximum disruption to children's schooling at minimum cost to teachers' pay.
Sir Keith Joseph: A review body is meant for occasions when normal negotiations are not easily practicable. Negotiations are possible given good will by the teachers. It is important to bear in mind the employers' capacity to pay. Therefore, negotiations should involve employers as well as employees.
Sir Keith Joseph: My hon. Friends had questions early on the Order Paper on this subject. That is why there is a barrage of questions from them. The hon. Gentleman seems constantly to ignore the fact that the Government have made available a substantial sum of extra money in addition to normal pay increases, conditional upon the teachers accepting professional terms of duty. The teachers' unions have so far...
Sir Keith Joseph: I agree about the importance of teachers. I am repeatedly being told that teachers' morale has collapsed and that I am responsible for that. I am accused of starving education of resources and of continually denigrating teachers. In fact, public spending per child in schools has never been as high as it is now. I do not denigrate teachers. I recognise the difficulties that they face in...
Sir Keith Joseph: No. I do not accept that. Given a willingness to negotiate, which the teachers' unions have so far signally failed to show, I do not think that there would be any difficulty in using the present system.
Sir Keith Joseph: I am not relying on any such assumption. The Government have recognised the need to offer pay that will recruit, retain and motivate teachers of the right quality—good and effective teachers—in just the same way as the extra money, although on a very much smaller scale in aggregate, was offered in order to recruit, retain and motivate civil servants and the judiciary of the right quality.
Sir Keith Joseph: The Lord Chancellor does not take the increase that was voted for him. Secondly, the Government are concerned with better standards for children of all ability, and not with double standards.
Sir Keith Joseph: Yes. Nothing can justify the behaviour of a profession in disrupting the education of its charges.
Sir Keith Joseph: Because the Government believe it right that those who have to find the money—although in this case it is ratepayers' money and taxpayers' money—should be part of the negotiation.
Sir Keith Joseph: If it was said, I am sure that it could not have been meant. I should like to repeat the tribute that I paid in the House to the heads and many of their deputies for bearing such a burden to keep schools open for their children, and to those teachers, in all unions—particularly one union—who have refused to disrupt.
Sir Keith Joseph: It is not for the Government to produce a new initiative.
Sir Keith Joseph: It is not the Government who are intransigent. In recent months, one side has been making offers, and the teachers' side has been saying no, no and no again. It is perverse for the hon. Gentleman to blame the Government and urge us to take a new initiative. He knows from his local authority party colleagues, who lead for the employers in the negotiations, that we face people who have not...
Sir Keith Joseph: The hon. Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Meacher) explained that he could not be present at this stage of the debate because of a long-standing commitment. The House will not expect me to follow up the questions raised by the hon. Gentleman, as I have enough to speak on in connection with education and science. I should like to make one general point before I deal with the subjects that have...
Sir Keith Joseph: No, this is not an economic debate. I am not allocating blame as I should like. I am speaking in broad terms of the background to the subject under discussion.
Sir Keith Joseph: No. The hon. Member for Durham, North (Mr. Radice) did not give way and I have a lot to cover.
Sir Keith Joseph: All right, I will give way just once to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett).
Sir Keith Joseph: No, we spoke of the need for us to try to win office in two successive Parliaments and we referred to the problems of this country as deepseated. One of the problems was that at that time we had 98 per cent. taxation at the highest levels—higher than anywhere else in the free world—which was discouraging the enterprise and initiative from which jobs and prosperity come. It must at least...
Sir Keith Joseph: No, both manufacturing investment and investment generally have risen faster. I will send the details to the hon. Gentleman.