HC Deb 18 November 1965 vol 720 c1322
30. Mrs. Shirley Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress has been made in providing places at teacher-training colleges and similar institutions for mature students.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Anthony Crosland)

In the academic year 1964–65 there were 7,300 non graduate students aged 25 and over following courses of initial teacher training in the general and specialist colleges of education. This compares with 5,700 in 1963–64 and 4,400 in 1962–63, and last year older students represented over 14 per cent. of the total intake to initial training courses. Total numbers for the current year are not yet available but are expected to show a further rise.

Mrs. Williams

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his strenuous efforts in this direction, may I ask him if he is aware that many married women who undertake teaching cannot find courses for teachers in school hours and are, therefore, unable to train if they wish to return home to meet their children coming back from school?

Mr. Crosland

I am aware of this. For this reason I am trying to encourage measures, which are not easy in practice, to start a system of part-time training which will meet this particular difficulty.