HC Deb 20 June 1961 vol 642 cc1156-7
18. Mrs. Hart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff have been appointed to the new training course for social workers at the Scottish College of Commerce, and at what salary scales; how these scales compare with those of staff recruited for the similar new courses in England; what liaison there will be with the appropriate academic staff of Glasgow University; whether it is intended at a future date that the course should embrace persons other than students in child care work and what consultations concerning the course have taken place with the professional associations of social workers.

Mr. Brooman-White

The course will be conducted by the existing staff, with the addition of a social case work tutor appointed on a scale of £800 to £1,270 per annum. The appointments to be made in England have been advertised at salary scales of £1,370 to £1,550 for a lecturer and £700 to £1,150 for an assistant. The course is one of training for general social work, and only some of the students are expected to enter child care work. It was planned by a study group which my right hon. Friend appointed to consider the Younghusband Report on Social Workers, and which included representatives of the professional associations concerned. Advice was also obtained from Glasgow University School of Social Study and Training, representatives of which are being invited to serve on an advisory committee for the course that the Governors are appointing.

Mrs. Hart

Would the Joint Under-Secretary of State agree that it is clearly far from satisfactory that in England the courses will be administered by staff which are much more highly paid than the social case workers being employed specifically for this purpose in Glasgow? Should not the whole matter be looked at again? Would he also agree that it is unlikely that the existing staff at the Scottish College of Commerce would have the necessary background for this kind of training? In addition, would he have direct consultations with the professional associations representing social workers in Scotland and ask their views on these matters and on the methods of selection of students for the course?

Mr. Brooman-White

I think that the governors of the college have been advised by a highly expert selection committee—I can give the hon. Lady the names of the members of it afterwards if she wishes them—and they also have expert advice from an advisory committee. I think that the course is an experimental one and adjustments can be made in the light of experience as we go along.

Miss Herbison

There seems to have been a great deal of expert advice here, but is the hon. Gentleman aware that those in Scotland who are interested in this matter, and who were very interested in the Younghusband Report, cannot see how the present staff of this college has either the background, the training or the knowledge to train these men and women who are to do such an important social job in the community? Will not he and his right hon. Friend look at this matter again?

Mr. Brooman-White

The selection committee was satisfied, and that is a most authoritative body.