HC Deb 14 December 1922 vol 159 cc3132-3

asked the President of the Board of Education what is the total number of male and of female teachers who have completed their educational training as qualified teachers in England and Wales, and who are now on the waiting lists of the local education authorities for positions in the teaching profession, both elementary and secondary; and what steps does he propose to take to facilitate their employment in the profession for which they have been equipped by great personal effort and expense, and often at great sacrifice by their parents?


I may refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on the 11th December last to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Caerphilly, which contains the latest information the Board possess on this matter. The whole question of the absorption of students from training colleges is engaging my very close attention, but I cannot at present make any statement upon it.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman as a Minister of a Government which has given so much prominence to the sowing of unemployment, whether, if he reduced the number of children in the classes and employed the unemployed teachers, it would not help to solve the unemployment problem and increase the efficiency of the teaching of the children?


I do not wish to be drawn into a debate with the hon. Gentleman on these wider issues. I can assure him that they will all be present to my mind when I consider the matter.


Was it not the policy of the Board a short time ago to reduce the classes in our elementary schools to 40 pupils, and does not a unique opportunity now arise to carry out that policy?


That question would involve a repetition of the answer given.


If the Minister is to communicate with the teachers who are on the list, will he include all the teachers in Gateshead, where none of the schools have been working and 23,000 children have not been educated for the last two months?


That does not now arise.

42. Mr. W. JENKINS

asked the President, of the Board of Education whether he is aware that a large number of boys who have reached the age of 14 and are leaving school cannot find employment; that no provision is made for further education for these boys; that there is a large number of fully-trained teachers at present unemployed; and what proposals has he to make to meet the needs of the boys and the unemployed teachers?


As regards the first and second parts of the question, I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour on the 7th December last to the Noble Lord the Member for South Nottingham and the hon. Member for Colne Valley. As regards the third part, I would refer him to the answer I gave on the 11th December last to the hon. Member for Caerphilly.