HC Deb 17 July 1969 vol 787 cc873-4
27. Mr. Michael Shaw

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science to what extent he estimates the employment of more part-time teachers will help to abolish classes of over 40 by September, 1970; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Edward Short

Part-timers have made and are making a valuable contribution to reducing the number of classes over 40. I believe that they will continue to do so.

Mr. Shaw

Does the right hon. Gentleman envisage, if he is to achieve his target, that there must be greater encouragement if more part-time teachers are to be attracted back into the profession?

Mr. Short

Yes. I hope that local authorities will continue to recruit them. The latest figure I have is that in the period between October, 1968, and February, 1969, 770 extra full-time equivalents of part-timers returned to teaching.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Will the Secretary of State confirm that there is not a chance of being able to reduce the size of classes to below 40 by 1970 and that in the primary schools the position is getting worse, not better?

Mr. Short

I do not agree. If the local authorities follow the lead I gave them in my speech at Cardiff, to which I referred earlier, they can get rid of most at any rate of the classes of 40 or over by September, 1970.