HC Deb 30 May 1935 vol 302 cc1282-3

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education how many teachers who have retired since the economy cuts have, as a result, received reduced pension rates; whether any estimate has been made as to the total amount of the loss it is likely to entail to the teachers concerned; and whether it is proposed to make up to them any part of this loss?


Up to the 31st March, 1935, about 10,000 teachers have retired since the date of the reduction in salary, and have as a result received pension at reduced rates. It is estimated that the loss in annual payments is approximately £57,000, in addition to a loss in lump sums. The loss by these teachers in annual pensions would have continued at the rate of about 4348,000 a year, diminishing with the deaths of the pensioners, but the Government's proposal will reduce this annual loss by about 50 per cent. as from the 1st July of this year, in addition to reducing the similar losses of approximately 25,000 teachers who may be expected to retire between the 31st March, 1935, and the 1st July, 1940.

18. Sir P. HARRIS

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether he can give any estimate as to the number of certificated teachers seeking employment in elementary schools who are out of work; and whether he can hold out any prospect of any considerable proportion of them receiving an opportunity of employment by local education authorities?


My information is that, out of 16,063 teachers who left the training colleges in July, 1933 and 1934, there were 1,960 who up to January last had not obtained teaching posts, but this figure includes a considerable number of students who had failed to pass their final examinations, as well as a number who for some reason or other were not immediately seeking employment in the teaching profession. Since January many of these young teachers will, of course, have obtained posts. I have no reason to believe that there is an appreciable amount of unemployment among certificated teachers after they have obtained their first post, but the Board have no means of ascertaining how many teachers are definitely seeking employment. As regards the last part of the question, I should explain that the proportion of certificated teachers in the teaching service has been steadily increasing of recent years. There are more certificated teachers in the profession than ever before.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it is alleged that there are some 600 teachers in London who are on the official list as not being able to obtain employment; and does he realise what a serious thing this is for them, as they are not covered in any way by unemployment insurance and they are walking about the streets unable to find any kind of alternative work, having received no training suitable for any of the other jobs that are available?


I understand that the hon. Baronet is referring to what are called supply teachers. I have no official figures as to their number, but probably a proportion of them have part-time occupation in other directions.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, owing to the decrease in the number of children in the schools, there has been a decrease in the demand in the Metroplitan area for supply teachers, which is the main cause of the trouble?


Are the Board using their influence with local education committees with a view to reducing the size of the classes and thereby absorbing unemployed teachers?


The size of the classes is being steadily reduced.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that teachers with higher qualifications are left without employment in some cases because the less qualified teachers are cheaper for.the local authorities?


I have pointed out that the proportion of certificated teachers is going up steadily.