HC Deb 27 July 1967 vol 751 c950
11. Mr. Leslie Huckfield

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is satisfied with the present arrangements for the provision and award of grants for pre-teacher training courses, particularly in view of the present shortage of teachers and the future shortages arising from the raising of the school-leaving age; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

Local education authorities are providing increasing numbers of such courses. But I believe that there is still more scope for this kind of provision and this point was made in a letter which was sent last week to colleges of education and L.E.A.s suggesting measures to increase still further the recruitment of older students into teacher training.

Awards for these courses, whether part-time or full-time, are made under Section 2 of the Education Act, 1962, at the discretion of local education authorities who are, of course, well aware of the teacher supply problem.

Mr. Huckfield

As several of my constituents have had to give up their jobs to attend these pre-teacher training courses—I also know of several other cases in Warwickshire—would my hon. Friend consider making the grants by local authorities for such courses compulsory instead of discretionary?

Mr. Roberts

My right hon. Friend and I would have to consider that question very carefully.