HC Deb 13 December 1956 vol 562 cc619-20
43. Mr. Moss

asked the Minister of Education whether he is satisfied with the quality of science teachers appointed in recent years; and if he will give statistics of appointments and type of qualification to substantiate his reply.

Sir D. Eccles

No, Sir. The position should improve following the recent recommendations of the Burnham Committee. This year for the first time prospective graduate teachers in mathematics and science who have a first or second class honours degree will be granted indefinite deferment from National Service.

Mr. Moss

I welcome that statement, but is it not a fact that the recruitment of both mathematics and science teachers in the past few years has been only half of what is needed to meet future demands?

Sir D. Eccles

Yes, Sir. It is a very worrying position, but it is improving slightly, and with the help of the teacher training colleges we may gain further improvement in the future.

Mr. Chetwynd

Does the Minister mean to say that the quality is disappointing and not the quantity, or is it with both that he is disappointed?

Sir D. Eccles

I could wish for improvement in both.