HC Deb 11 December 1969 vol 793 cc620-1
10. Mr. Onslow

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will commission an inquiry into the career structure of the teaching profession.

Mr. Edward Short

As I told the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) on 2nd December, I am prepared to consider an examination of the structure of teachers' salary scales.

Mr. Onslow

Does not the Secretary of State agree that unless such action is taken and unless the root causes of the present regrettable situation are removed, teaching may cease to be a profession worthy of the name?

Mr. Short

I certainly hope that agreement can be reached between the local authorities and the teachers' organisations on a radical review of the structure of teachers' salaries.

Mr. Newens: Would not my right hon. Friend agree that more emphasis should be placed in future on making the basic scale sufficiently attractive to good teachers who want to do a good job in the class-room, rather than on making the rewards at the top more attractive in the hope of keeping more teachers in the profession to scramble after these places?

Mr. Short

These differences of opinion illustrate the need for a review of the whole structure. I am quite sure that the structure of salary scales has become distorted because there have been too many across-the-board increases.

Mrs. Thatcher

What kind of review has the right hon. Gentleman in mind—an internal departmental review, or a more public review?

Mr. Short

I have nothing in mind at all about this yet. All I am trying to do is to interest both parties—and I do not employ the teachers; the local authorities employ them—to interest local authorities and teachers' organisations in some sort of radical review of the salary scales.