HC Deb 03 July 1947 vol 439 cc1485-6
18. Mr. K. Lindsay

asked the Minister of Education what steps he is taking to remedy the admitted shortage of science masters in secondary schools.

Mr. Tomlinson

As the hon. Member is aware, the science faculties at the universities are being expanded and I am confident that this will go far to meet the demand for teachers which has increased substantially in the last few years.

Mr. Lindsay

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at the moment the Oxford University Appointments Board has 250 vacancies for science teachers unfilled, and that the secretary reports that some headmasters are just going to give up science teaching? This goes to the very root of the training of scientists for the future of this country. Will he, therefore, give fresh consideration either to getting science teachers released from the Services—which is the only method, I believe—or increasing their salaries which are so different from those paid in industry?

Mr. Tomlinson

The hon. Member knows from his previous experience that the salaries question is one which is at present before the Burnham Committee, and that the Minister cannot interfere. With regard to release from the Services, I should hesitate to take that action. I believe that the action that has been taken will lead to improvement in the numbers.