19. Mr. Bob Brown
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to improve the supply of teachers in the Northern Region.
§ Mrs. Shirley Williams
My right hon. Friend has taken steps to improve the supply of teachers in the whole country by the means described in his 14-point Programme. We are also trying by means of the quota to ensure that the available teachers are fairly distributed between authorities.
If the present methods of improving teacher supply are not rapidly accelerated, then, short of an emergency training scheme such as we had after the war, how does my hon. Friend intend to raise the school leaving age in 1970?
§ Mrs. Williams
The pupil-teacher ratio is steadily improving. The increase in the number of teachers going to training colleges has been phenomenal in the last few years. In the Northern Region, among the authorities which have indicated that they are under quota, the position has improved in all cases with the exception only of the North Riding.