HC Deb 17 April 1969 vol 781 cc1310-1
14. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to assist the teaching of science subjects in schools.

Miss Bacon

In 1969–70 my Department is holding 37 short courses and 12 one-term or one-year courses for teachers of science subjects. Priority in the training of graduates for teaching is being given to science and mathematics graduates. I have offered grants to scientific societies to establish regional centres for science teachers, and have issued guidance on the design of accommodation for science teaching. The Schools Council is at present sponsoring six curriculum development projects in science.

Mrs. Short

I am obliged to my right hon. Friend for that very interesting reply. Would she agree that only about 6 per cent. of our best science graduates are now attracted into teaching and that far more effort should be made to try to persuade them that teaching is a worthwhile career?

Miss Bacon

I agree with my hon. Friend and we are doing everything we can to bring that about.

Mr. Ridsdale

Cannot the right hon. Lady be more imaginative and get industry to help by, for example, seconding staff to teach in schools? Is she aware that it is through industry that we can get more science teachers, rather than through many of the schemes about which we have heard?

Miss Bacon

I assure the hon. Gentleman that we would be glad to have people from industry coming to teach in our schools, but they must be qualified teachers.