HC Deb 11 July 1966 vol 731 c963
48. Mr. Ian Gilmour

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he has taken to ensure that all qualified teachers who have applied for entry into this country are able to come in at the earliest opportunity.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

Commonwealth citizens wishing to teach in the United Kingdom require vouchers. These are issued as quickly as possible after it has been established that the applicants are eligible for the status of qualified teacher in this country.

Mr. Gilmour

Once it is known that applicants are qualified, and as there is a great shortage of qualified teachers in this country, is it not indefensible to hold up their entry?

Mrs. Williams

The general machinery is that we consult the Department of Education and Science about qualifications. The delay between that and the issue of a voucher is normally not more than three months. If the hon. Gentleman has a particular case in mind, perhaps he will bring it to my attention.

Mr. Hogg

I understand that the hon. Lady's Answer was confined to qualified teachers from the Commonwealth. What is the situation as regards non-Commonwealth citizens who may be qualified to teach and who desire to do so in this country?

Mrs. Williams

If they are qualified to teach, they are obliged to fill in an application form for entry, and, if it is accepted, they are then given a certificate of appointment. The numbers are not very large.