HC Deb 27 November 1963 vol 685 cc249-51
1. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the Teachers (Scotland) Regulations, 1963.

21. Sir M. Galpern

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many representations he has received from local authorities regarding his proposal to grant an additional £50 per annum to teachers serving in certain areas and schools; what is the nature of these representations; and if he will make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Lady Tweedsmuir)

The Teachers' Salaries (Special Allowances) (Scotland) Regulations, containing proposals to pay a special allowance of £50 to teachers in parts of the greater Glasgow area, were published in draft on 18th September. Since then my right hon. Friend has received representations from 14 education authorities, from the Association of County Councils in Scotland, and from the Educational Institute of Scotland, expressing opposition to the proposal. My right hon. Friend has asked the National Joint Council for its further views.

Mr. Hughes

Does the Under-Secretary of State realise that I received the letter which the Secretary of State sent me asking for elucidation of my Question? Apparently, the Secretary of State does not understand that the teachers' organisations are experts in all matters relating to teachers' salaries and conditions of work, and sufficient attention is not paid by the right hon. Gentleman to the representations concerned with that correspondence. Will the Secretary of State for goodness' sake read the correspondence more carefully and realise the needs of the teachers and fulfil them at once?

Lady Tweedsmuir

The reason why a letter was sent to the hon. and learned Gentleman was because he did not frame his Question exactly correctly. I presume that he intended to refer to the Teachers Salaries (Special Allowances) (Scotland) Regulations. It is just because we wish to take into account the opinions of all organisations that we are awaiting the views of the National Joint Council.

Miss Herbison

Were there any consultations with the National Joint Council before drafting the Regulations concerning this £50? These Regulation have proved to be ludicrous in the eyes of all Scottish teachers, whether they are affected by them or not. Cannot the hon. Lady or the Secretary of State say today that this offer of £50 will be withdrawn immediately so that Scottish teachers may know that their legitimate demands are being fairly considered and in a sensible way?

Lady Tweedsmuir

The recommendation to give an extra allowance of £50 to Glasgow teachers originally came through the National Joint Council. It was after that that the salary Regulations were published in draft. When objections were raised from surrounding areas, a second set of draft Regulations was published, and these Regulations are now the subject of consideration. On the last part of the hon. Lady's supplementary question, a meeting is expected to take place on 13th December, and we shall come to a decision after that.

Sir M. Galpern

Is the hon. Lady aware that the vacillating policy of the Secretary of State for Scotland, judged by the volume of correspondence received by hon. Members, has aroused the anger of the teachers concerned? Does she realise that if the right hon. Gentleman persists in his plan to award the £50 on a selective basis it will create more difficulties than it will solve? In these circumstances, although I was in favour of the £50 being awarded to the teachers in Glasgow, it would be far better to withdraw the whole scheme.

Lady Tweedsmuir

I understand that originally the proposal came through the National Joint Council and that it was supported by the Glasgow Education Authority. Far from my right hon. Friend being vacillating, he has done everything to see how he could overcome this particular problem in Glasgow.

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