HC Deb 23 June 1953 vol 516 cc1658-9
12. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the dissatisfaction among teachers over his proposal to lower the standard of entry to the teaching profession; and if he is prepared to reconsider his decision.

16. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland which organisations were consulted before he issued Circular No. 269 relating to entrance to the teacher training colleges; and which of these organisations approved of the proposals contained in the circular.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

Before publishing the draft regulations which accompanied Circular 269 I had discussions with representatives of the Association of Councils of Counties of Cities, the Association of County Councils, the National Committee for the Training of Teachers, the Association of Directors of Education and the Educational Institute of Scotland. My right hon. Friend also received memoranda which he had asked the Association of Headmasters of Senior Secondary Schools and the Association of Headmistresses to submit. The consultations were on a confidential basis, but I can say that the proposal met with wide support, though, as the Educational Institute have announced, they were against it. As required by the Act, my right hon. Friend will have regard to any representations against the draft regulations submitted by 20th July, and will then consider whether to proceed further with the proposal. If he decides to do so, regulations will be laid before Parliament which will be subject to annulment on a Prayer.

Mr. Rankin

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in the explanatory note it is made clear that the regulations are mainly directed to women entrants? Are we to conclude that in their operation men will be excluded? Further, can the hon. Gentleman say what he will do if teachers refuse to co-operate in training these entrants to the profession who have these inferior qualifications?

Mr. Stewart

As to the second matter, I hope that that will not arise at this moment. As to the first point, it is true that the regulations will apply almost entirely to women, but there are one or two exceptions in the case of technical persons, as the hon. Gentleman knows.

Mr. Rankin

Would the Minister then indicate what particular types of specialist teachers are to be included in the regulations?

Mr. Stewart

Unfortunately I have not the draft regulations in front of me and I am sorry I cannot answer that. I will gladly tell the hon. Gentleman as soon as I get the information.

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