HC Deb 02 June 1960 vol 624 cc1609-11
5. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Education how many local education authorities have not been able to recruit sufficient teachers to reach their January, 1960, quota.

Sir D. Eccles

Provisional figures show that in January, 1960, 54 local education authorities were 1 per cent. or more below their quota. This is slightly better than last year.

Mr. Boyden

Could the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what steps he is taking to carry out the suggestion of the Crowther Report that some experiments should be made to see what effect financial inducements will have in steering teachers to under-staffed areas?

Sir D. Eccles

A system of differential allowances according to area would be very difficult to operate.

8. Mrs. White

asked the Minister of Education what inquiries he has made into the effect of the aggregation of incomes for taxation on the number of married women prepared to return to teaching in schools or training colleges.

Sir D. Eccles

None, Sir.

Mrs. White

As the right hon. Gentleman makes a stronger appeal to married women than, I should think, any of his Ministerial colleagues, with the possible exception of the Minister of Health, would he not consider taking the initiative, perhaps with some voluntary organizations, to make an inquiry into this matter? This affects not only teachers and the staff of training colleges, but also school dentists and school architects, of whom there appears to be a chronic shortage, which he uses as an excuse on many occasions for not being able to undertake certain works. There is a strong feeling among organisations of professional women that this is a serious factor. Would he look into this, because it affects the supply of highly qualified professional married women?

Sir D. Eccles

The recruitment of architects and dentists lies outside my responsibilities, but the head of the School of Social Studies at Sheffield University is now undertaking an examination into the wastage of women teachers. We are giving him all the help that we can, and no doubt some interesting information will come out of it.

10. Mr. Fitch

asked the Minister of Education what steps he proposes to take to include the widows and orphans of teachers in the Teachers Superannuation Scheme.

Sir D. Eccles

Provision is already made for this in the Teachers (Superannuation) Act, 1956, but the teachers have so far felt unable to agree to a scheme in the form provided for in that Act.

Mr. Fitch

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that this scheme in its present form is entirely unsatisfactory? Is he aware that widespread representations have been made to local education authorities on this matter? Does he not also agree that when a man has served a lifetime in a profession which is not too well paid he should at least feel that in the event of his death his widow is provided for?

Sir D. Eccles

When the Act was introduced we thought that this provision would be worth taking up by the teachers, but they have decided otherwise. I agree that if we had endless finance it would be a very good thing.

12. Mr. Fitch

asked the Minister of Education what plans he has to solve the staffing problems, which will occur during the year 1962–63 as a result of the introduction of the three-year training course for teachers.

Sir D. Eccles

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary outlined our plans during the debate on the Crowther Report. I am holding a conference in July with representatives of the local authorities, teachers and others concerned to encourage speedy action.