HC Deb 25 June 1959 vol 607 c1375
19. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Education if he will give the figures of vacancies for physics graduates in grammar and other schools for which inquiry was made in October, 1958; and what is the explanation of any disparity between those figures and the intimation given to the hon. Member for Leyton recently that the vacancies were only twenty-six.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

One hundred and sixteen, Sir. The disparity is due to the fact that the hon. Member's Question of 30th April referred only to physics masters in boys' grammar schools.

Mr. Sorensen

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that, in any case, there is a very serious shortage of physics graduates for teaching in schools? In these circumstances, what action is he taking to try to overcome this difficulty? Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that one minor reason for the shortage of physics graduates may be the fact that they are being more and more drawn into the Forces?

Mr. Lloyd

I doubt the latter part of the hon. Member's supplementary question. According to a survey which we made recently, there has been a modest increase of between 6 per cent. and 7 per cent. in the numbers of those teachers, and in our big expansion of the teacher-training colleges we are laying special emphasis on an increase in the number of mathematics, science and physics teachers.