HC Deb 03 March 1966 vol 725 cc1466-7
22. Mr. Hamling

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is aware of the growing concern of the teaching profession regarding the lack of plans and financial arrangements for the provision of buildings and teachers to meet the raising of the school-leaving age in 1970; and what machinery he proposes to set up to advise him on the question of teacher supply to replace the committee under the chairmanship of Sir Alan Bullock which has now ceased to function.

Mr. Redhead

On the first part of the Question I would refer to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, West (Mr. William Hamilton) on 3rd February, 1966.

Since my right hon. Friend's fourteen-point programme is at present the guide to action on current teacher supply problems, and all those concerned are fully engaged in implementing it, I see no immediate need for an advisory body to be active.

Mr. Hamling

Is my hon. Friend aware that we expect some quick action on this in the next 12 months?

Mr. Redhead

I note my hon. Friend's observations.

Sir E. Boyle

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we on this side of the House are dissatisfied with the answer to both parts of the Question? Is he aware that we believe that the provision for extra school building to meet the raising of the school-leaving age is inadequate? Secondly, and just as important, is he aware that it was never our intention that the National Advisory Council on the Training and Supply of Teachers should disappear with no other body to take its place? Will he look at this point again urgently?

Mr. Redhead

My right hon. Friend takes the view that in this situation it would be premature to talk about machinery to replace the Advisory Council, but he shares the misgivings expressed about the effectiveness of the Council in its present form as an advisory body. Meanwhile, he will keep in touch with educational opinion on all matters relevant to this. On the subject of building I ask the right hon. Gentleman to await a Circular which my right hon. Friend will shortly be issuing in which guidance will be given to local authorities.