HC Deb 10 November 1966 vol 735 cc1522-3
25. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to standardise the conditions of service for members of the teaching profession.

Mr. Redhead

No, Sir. Recommendations made jointly by representatives of the teachers and their employers are already widely adopted in the maintained sector.

Mr. Roberts

Is my hon. Friend aware that, even in simple things like standing for Parliament, some teachers find that they can get leave of absence with full pay while others get nothing? Is he further aware that the whole of the teaching profession would welcome any inquiry which would lead to the removal of the situation in which teachers are equal in the eyes of the Department of Education and Science, but in the eyes of the local authorities some are more equal than others?

Mr. Redhead

I am surprised that my hon. Friend suggests that it is simple to stand for election to Parliament. I am aware that certain teachers in different sectors of education perform similar work and there may be a certain superficial appeal behind my hon. Friend's remarks. But there are many wide variations. The joint recommendations covered conditions of travel, sick pay, maternity leave for married women and questions of that kind. It has not been the practice, except for pensions and salaries, for the Government to interfere with the employers' rights to determine the teachers' conditions of service.