HC Deb 18 November 1954 vol 533 cc562-3
48. Mr. Morley

asked the Minister of Education the number of vacant places in women's training colleges at the beginning of the 1954–55 session.

Sir D. Eccles

At the beginning of the current session there were about 150 vacant places in women's training colleges.

Mr. Morley

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what policy his Department intends to pursue to see that there are no vacant places in training colleges next year?

Sir D. Eccles

I do not think that there would be these vacant places but for last-minute withdrawals. The number of admissions to date for the courses beginning this autumn or next January is 9,290, which is considerably higher than last year's figure.

Mr. J. Johnson

Will the Minister treat this as a very serious matter? We are short of teachers in infant schools, and we are having great difficulty in getting headmistresses for such schools. Would he increase the number of places—let alone filling the gap at present?

Sir D. Eccles

We must first look at the total number of places filled. I do not think that the 150 vacancies are due to anything except last-minute withdrawals.

Miss Bacon

Can the Minister say how many of the last-minute withdrawals are due to the inadequate grants paid to men and women receiving training in colleges?

Sir D. Eccles

No, Sir.

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