HC Deb 01 March 1962 vol 654 cc1507-8
4. Mr. Holland

asked the Minister of Education what proposals he has for checking the drift of male teachers from primary to secondary schools.

Sir D. Eccles

Teachers of both sexes have been moving from the primary schools where school rolls have been declining to the secondary schools where they have been rising. Local education authorities are aware that the pressure of numbers in the primary schools is about to be renewed and will know how best to deploy the teachers in their service.

Mr. Holland

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I have recently met schoolmasters with a real vocation for primary teaching who are compelled by economic reasons to transfer to secondary schools in order to obtain posts of responsibility? Could he not suggest to the Burnham Committee that now is the time when the Committee might look again at the scale of units on which those posts are graded and paid?

Sir D. Eccles

The facts are that the proportion of men receiving payments above scale for responsibility is greater in the primary schools than in the secondary schools, but I agree with my hon. Friend that we need more men in the primary schools.

Dr. King

Is the Minister aware that, apart from any disparity in the opportunities for posts of special responsibility, there is still in the Burnham scale financial inequality as between primary and secondary schools? If he believes—as we believe he does—in the importance of primary education, does he not think it time that we had a nearer approach to parity between the two branches?

Sir D. Eccles

It is not always popular when I say what I would like the Burnham Committee to do.