Sir Keith Joseph: I am grateful to my hon. Friend, and agree with much of what he has said. To some extent, the fact that public money follows student choice already recognises that student choices have a large contribution to make. Nevertheless, we want to ensure, as I am sure my hon. Friend does, that the quality of teaching and research in the chosen universities is excellent.
Sir Keith Joseph: There is bound to be some satisfaction and some dissatisfaction in different departments, resulting from the judgment of the UGC in what I repeat is a landmark set of decisions.
Sir Keith Joseph: I cannot go into individual judgments, because that is the province of the UGC. However, I think that my hon. Friend has the right end of the stick.
Sir Keith Joseph: No change in student numbers or employment in universities is, in aggregate, presaged by today's statement. A redistribution may result. One of the main contributions to excellence is quality of research and effectiveness of teaching. That is precisely what the UGC' with the Government's encouragement, has now pioneered.
Sir Keith Joseph: I must say yes to my hon. Friend. I hope that hon. Members on both sides of the House will read the details of what I have announced today. We are offering to the university system the possibility of further funding, depending upon the negotiations on the public expenditure survey this year, if it builds on the announcements that have been made today.
Sir Keith Joseph: The hon. Gentleman will have to look at the details in the letters, but the former chairman of the UGC who presided over the allocations in 1981 recently wrote to The Times to say that, in his view, thanks to the presence of two very vigorous vice-chancellors, Salford and Aston are both better universities now than they were in 1981.
Sir Keith Joseph: Yes, Sir.
Sir Keith Joseph: Categorically, no. This is not an attack on universities but a stimulus to excellence.
Sir Keith Joseph: Last Friday the Burnham primary and secondary committee agreed to increase teachers' salaries in England and Wales from 1 April 1986 by 5·5 per cent. or £520, whichever is the greater. This agreement was reached following undertakings to the management panel from all the teacher associations represented on the teachers' panel. The entire teachers' panel has given an assurance that there...
Sir Keith Joseph: I am glad that the National Union of Teachers has agreed to co-operate fully in the negotiations, therefore acccepting that teachers' pay and teachers' duties must be considered at the same forum. I hope that the hon. Member for Durham accepts that—
Sir Keith Joseph: I refer to the hon. Member for Durham, North (Mr. Radice). I hope that he now accepts what he has flinched from accepting before—that what teachers are paid and teachers' duties should be considered together.
Sir Keith Joseph: I can agree with some of what my hon. Friend says. There are some long-standing and crucial issues for the quality of education; these can emerge if the negotiations are successful, and I hope that they are.
Sir Keith Joseph: Unfortunately, the NUT walked out of the negotiations in 1984 that could have led to this sort of result much earlier. That led the teachers' unions to reject negotiations on the quantified conditional offer of extra money from the Government and delayed the present negotiations for many months.
Sir Keith Joseph: Yes, if enough teachers approach me with a willingness to see such a council set up, but it would have to be subject to the Government's satisfaction that such a council would serve the interests of children as well as of teachers.
Sir Keith Joseph: The last thing that I have been accused of in recent years is a dearth of policies.
Sir Keith Joseph: Teacher appraisal is one of the subjects that is being considered by the ACAS working party. As for the first part of my hon. Friend's question, I very much hope that the NUT's undertaking that peace and calm would return to our schools will be fulfilled.
Sir Keith Joseph: I am very sorry, Mr. Speaker, but I missed the last part of the right hon. Gentleman's question.
Sir Keith Joseph: On no possible account could I agree with the right hon. Gentleman. It was that particular individual and his executive who wrecked the negotiations in 1984 and delayed negotiations for months and months in 1985 and 1986.
Sir Keith Joseph: I agree with the first part of my hon. Friend's question. As to the second part, payment of the additional money specified by the Government depends upon satisfaction of the conditions laid down, and that is the subject of the discussions that are now taking place under ACAS.
Sir Keith Joseph: I have to say to the hon. Gentleman and the House that the disruption in our schools is entirely due to—(HON. MEMBERS: "You."}—the decision of the executives of the large teachers' unions, backed by a number of their members. I have constantly said that it is wrong and unprofessional to disrupt the education of children.