HC Deb 01 December 1959 vol 614 cc986-8
14. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many retired teachers have been invited to return to their profession on payment of a grant of £100 annually; and how many such teachers have accepted his proposal.

20. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many additional retired teachers have been recruited back to teaching service since the recent offer of £100 was made to them.

35. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of retired teachers who have returned to the profession since he introduced the regulations in August 1959 allowing payment of £100 in lieu of pension to retired teachers who return to service.

Mr. N. Macpherson

It is for education authorities to offer posts in schools to retired teachers. Full information about the numbers of retired teachers re-employed in the current term will not be available until some weeks after its close.

Mr. Hannan

That does not answer the Question on the Order Paper. Will the Under-Secretary confirm or deny the fact that no response has been made to the offer? If no response has been made, does it not show the utter contempt with which the Glasgow teachers have treated this derisory offer? Will the Minister now indicate what alternative plans the Government have for obtaining the number of teachers which Scotland and Glasgow need?

Mr. Macpherson

The main purpose of the scheme was to ensure continuity of service. It is difficult to say from the figures available how many of the teachers whom we know have returned to the service have been induced to return by the scheme, but I can tell the House that we know of 786 teachers who were re-employed during the current school term—and of those 626 were reemployed during the school summer term.

Mr. Rankin

In view of the fact that it is widely recognised that the numbers who have accepted this offer are derisory, will the hon. Member consider implementing the terms of the Knox Report, which recommended that when a teacher has earned his pension he ought to be paid it, even though, after retiral, he returns to teaching? The Committee recommended that such a man should be paid the full pension that he has earned, plus the salary that he is being paid for the job.

Mr. Macpherson

There is a later Question on the Order Paper dealing with that matter.

Mr. Hannan

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible moment.

25. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now accept the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Education in Scotland in two successive Reports, that retired teachers returning to service should have full pay and full pension.

Mr. N. Macpherson

Following on the final Report of the Advisory Council, my right hon. Friend again gave the most careful consideration to this recommendation but decided not to accept it. He regrets that he cannot depart from that decision.

Mr. Thomson

Is the Minister aware that if a Scottish school teacher retires, and then takes a job writing up race results on a blackboard in a betting shop, his pension rights are not affected at all; but if he does what the whole community wishes him to do and goes on teaching our children, he loses those pension rights and gets a shoddy compensation of £100? Is not this utterly unfair and should not the Scottish Office fight the Treasury on this matter?

Mr. Macpherson

I am aware of that, but this is not something which is confined to teachers alone. The issues raised go far beyond teachers' pensions, and the Government felt they could not make an exception in favour of teachers alone.