HC Deb 31 March 1960 vol 620 cc1479-80
1. Mr. Braine

asked the Minister of Education what further steps are being taken to encourage a larger number of British teachers to accept appointments in overseas Commonwealth countries.

The Minister of Education (Sir David Eccles)

The Government have agreed to spend sums rising to an annual figure of £700,000 by 1964 on special allowances for teachers going to the less developed countries, and on other forms of assistance. I have also commended to local education authorities a code of secondment and other proposals designed to safeguard the interests of teachers during their service overseas and on their return.

Mr. Braine

While welcoming very much the reply which my right hon. Friend has given, may I ask him whether he is aware that many teachers are attracted by this kind of service overseas, and derive benefit from it, but are dissuaded from undertaking it because they fear that their professional careers will suffer by the long absence? Will my right hon. Friend say whether his directions to local education authorities drew attention to the fact that such teachers ought not to be penalised for gaining what is, after all, valuable educational experience?

Sir D. Eccles

Yes, Sir. I hope that these arrangements will remove those fears. Indeed, the local authorities responded very well when I put them to them.

Mr. Greenwood

Will the right hon. Gentleman take this aspect of the problem into account when formulating his teacher-training programme henceforward?

Sir D. Eccles

Yes, Sir.