§ 29. Mr. Willey
asked the Minister of Education what was the number of junior pupils in maintained and assisted schools in classes of over 40, at the latest available date.
§ Mr. Willey
Will the Minister agree that this appalling figure reveals a desperate shortage of teachers? In view of that, how can he explain his recent flatfooted interference with the proceedings of the Burnham Committee? Does he realise that treating the Committee with 631 this flagrant arrogance means treating the profession differently from the way in which he treats other professions?
§ Sir E. Boyle
The answer to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question is that this figure of 754,000 compares with 877,000 in January, 1960, so there has been a steady fall in the number since 1953, when the figure was nearly 1.8 million. The hon. Gentleman knows that we have given the highest priority to questions of teacher supply. The second part of his supplementary question is fully answered in the letter I wrote to the chairman of the Burnham Committee yesterday.