HC Deb 26 March 1957 vol 567 cc951-2
17. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, in view of the fact that at the beginning of the school term this year there will be a substantial increase in the number of pupils entering secondary schools, and that in the following years this number will increase further, and since there is a diminishing number of secondary school teachers, what steps he proposes to take to overcome this problem.

Mr. N. Macpherson

The intake of pupils into secondary schools will probably be less this year than in 1956 although it will increase in 1958 and 1959. The number of secondary school teachers is increasing steadily, but not fast enough to meet the growing demand. The Advisory Council is considering the problem and my right hon. Friend hopes to receive a report from them in the early summer.

Mr. Hannan

Does not that reply confirm the fears expressed in the Question? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the City of Glasgow even now requires 500 teachers and that action should have been taken at least three or four years ago by the Government——

Sir T. Moore

Ten years ago.

Mr. Hannan

—to avoid the emergency which is now upon us? Will the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to do one of three things? Will he seek the release of teachers from the Forces, or approach industry for the release of qualified men, or enter into arrangements for primary teachers to go into senior school work?

Mr. Macpherson

My right hon. Friend has set as the first task of the Advisory Council to consider measures to meet the increasing demand for teachers for secondary education. As I say, we hope to have its report early in the summer.

24. Miss Herbison

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the extent of the shortage of teachers with the requisite qualifications and training in junior secondary and senior secondary schools in Scotland; and which areas have the greatest shortage.

Mr. N. Macpherson

Separate figures for different types of secondary schools are not available. In October, 1956, education authorities estimated that they required 1,129 additional teachers qualified to teach in secondary schools. According to the authorities' own estimates the shortage of these teachers was proportionately most severe in Ross and Cromarty, Stirlingshire, Banffshire, Aberdeenshire, Renfrewshire and West Lothian.

Miss Herbison

Is the Minister aware that his Answers to Questions Nos. 22, 23 and 24 and to previous Questions must cause great concern to all those interested in education? Will he not give some further consideration to matters which might attract a greater number of teachers? In particular, will he give the greatest consideration to the introduction of a proper pensions scheme for widows and dependants, since that might do something to attract the number of people we need in this profession?

Mr. Macpherson

The hon. Lady knows that all these matters are under consideration at the present time.

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