HC Deb 10 June 1969 vol 784 cc1309-27
Mr. Monro

I beg to move Amendment No. 21, in page 23, line 25, leave out 'on the date on' and insert: 'at the end of the school term during'. This is an important Clause for those teachers in posts of responsibility who have already reached the age of 65 or who may be approaching it. It is difficult to be certain how many teachers will be affected by this provision, because the reply given by the Secretary of State to my hon. Friend the Member for Perth and East Perthshire (Mr. MacArthur) on 10th March was that the numbers were not available but that a computer was busily working them out. Whether or not the answer is now available. I do not know.

The point is that under the Clause as it stands, except for the important provision in the first line Except where his employer otherwise determines … a teacher in a post of responsibility will have to give up that post, and if necessary leave the school, on his 65th birthday. Those who are presently 65 will have to give up their posts on the date of the enactment of this Measure. I readily appreciate, of course, that unless Amendment No. 22 is agreed, this provision will be put into effect by means of a Statutory Instrument.

Those of us who have worked on the Bill or who are interested in teaching in any form realise the importance of these posts of responsibility, and feel it wrong that teachers in those posts should be forced to retire in mid-term. For that reason, we seek to alter the date of retirement from the 65th birthday to the end of the term. We have earlier argued at length about the importance of continuity in relation to the single leaving date of pupils, and this principle of continuity is equally important in relation to teachers in posts of responsibility. It disrupts school life in many ways if these teachers have to leave in the middle of the term. To me, I admit, it is almost unthinkable that a local authority would ask a teacher to retire in the middle of a term, and because it is so unthinkable I have every hope that the Secretary of State will accept the Amendment.

I accept, too, that there is always concern, particularly among the younger members of the profession, that there must be no blockage of promotion; that when a teacher reaches the age which the Government and local authorities have determined as the age of retirement, that should be it, and there should be opportunity of promotion. Nevertheless, we feel that for a matter of two or three months that principle should give way in favour of the Amendment. That the teacher should not retire until the end of the term would be good for the teacher, good for the local authority as it would prevent disruption in posts of responsibility, and good for the pupils.

I should like the Secretary of State to go a little further and accept that the date of retirement should be at the end of the holidays following the terms when the teacher reaches age 65. A teacher should be entitled to his holiday on full pay following the term in which he finishes his work. Because what is proposed by the Amendment is likely to happen in practice, I hope that the Secretary of State will accept the Amendment.

Mr. Brewis

I support the case put by my hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Mr. Monro). We should be considering the interests of the child in education. I cannot believe that it would be right for a teacher holding such a post to be changed arbitrarily on the day he reaches 65, or, in other cases, when he reaches 70. I should be prepared to go further and say that it should be at the end of the school year in which the teacher reaches that age. Only a month or two maybe concerned and this would affect his pension. Many teachers who are nearing 65 or 70 had difficulties about getting jobs in the thirties. There was great difficult for certificated teachers to get employment then. An extra few months might make a serious effect to their pensions.

Mr. Ross

I have every sympathy with the intentions of the Amendment. I was touched with the point about the difficulty for teachers in getting jobs in the thirties. That was the time when I was trying to get a job as a teacher. However, I think the dangers of a break in continuity in the teaching process from the point of view of pupils is something which will be seized upon by education authorities themselves.

That is the main reason why the words quoted by the hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Monro) except where his employer otherwise determines". are there. Those words give complete flexibility to the local education authority to continue employment of a teacher for so long as need be and within the necessary limits in the position of a post of special responsibility. We have to bear in mind that the subsection as it stands does not require immediate retirement at age 65. That is the purpose of its opening words.

7.15 p.m.

There is in any event a defect in the Amendment because it says at the end of the school term". It is not entirely clear what would happen if the teacher became 65 during the holidays which is not during the school term. I think I can allay the fears of the mover and supporter of the Amendment about the damage which they feel might possibly be done. We have to leave this to the good sense of local authorities and follow the advice we have had in our consultations on the principles of the Bill. We consulted the Association of County Councils, which asked that the age of 65 should replace the previous requirement of the completion of 45 years' service. The Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association and the Scottish Schoolmasters' Association supported that change.

Bearing in mind that the subsection does not prevent an employer keeping a teacher in post after he is 65 we should retain this flexibility for good educational practice. From the point of view of the hon. Member for Galloway (Mr. Brewis) it is interesting to note that the E.I.S. asks for mandatory resignation from promoted posts in all cases on attaining the age of 65, but we prefer flexibility for local education authorities because there might otherwise be disruption. Anyone who is aware of the practice of education authorities knows that they are very reasonable. I do not visualise great difficulty. The hon. Member for Dumfries asked for numbers but I am afraid I cannot give them at present. Retiral for men is about 65 and for women about 63. Bearing in mind the actual practice of local education authorities in exercising the flexibility which will be in the Clause as it stands we do not see any great difficulty occurring. I am afraid I cannot ask the House to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Gordon Campbell (Moray and Nairn)

The right hon. Gentleman appeared to accept the principle which my hon. Friends have put forward and said that there was flexibility for the local authorities themselves to decide on the date. The Under-Secretary in Committee also gave the impression that he was in favour of flexibility as suggested in this Amendment and that local authorities would not require a resignation to take place in the middle of a term. It is, therefore, disappointing that the Secretary of State has not been able to accept this Amendment nor to say that he would accept a similar one after suggesting that there is something faulty in the wording of this one. Its object is quite clear.

The point made about pensions struck a sympathetic chord in him when my hon. Friend the Member for Galloway (Mr. Brewis) pointed out that retirement at the end of the term could have an effect on the pension for which a teacher was eligible. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman has not said his last word on this proposal. My hon. Friend the Member for Dumfries (Mr. Monro) referred to holidays at the end of the term in which a teacher becomes 65. That point should be in the minds of local authorities. The Government appear to have accepted, in Committee and today, that local authorities ought not to terminate a teacher's employment in the middle of a term or at some other inappropriate date. They have said that the local authority can itself extend the period in which the teacher is employed. But then the local authority would have to defer in every such case on every occasion. This would make unnecessary work.

Surely it would be better to include in the Bill the principle, which the Secretary of State himself accepts, making it perfectly clear that local authorities would not require resignation in the middle of a term.

Mr. Woodburn

I support my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. The Bill is wide enough to give discretion to the local authorities.

This works both ways. It is sometimes desirable that local authorities should not be under pressure to continue in a job somebody who should not be in the job. Naturally, authorities will be anxious to retain good teachers, but in some cases it is important that there should be a break, without any reflection on the person concerned or on the authority, and without any argument about whether it is right to allow him to continue in office. It may be a good thing for the pupils that a teacher should retire at 65. But in my experience, local authorities are glad to retain good teachers in their posts, and very often not only until the end of the term. If a person has not taken up his career as a teacher at the earliest possible moment, he may reach 65 with a year or two to go before he can benefit from his pension. Local authorities are sympathetic in the case of good teachers and, as in the Civil Service, they may allow them to work out their time.

There is the problem of the pressure of people wanting promotion. One of the difficulties of asking teachers and civil servants to work beyond the age of 60 is that if the age is increased to 65 it stops promotion for five years. Therefore, teachers who think that they are better than their colleagues at the job press for promotion. It is a mistake for Parliament to legislate when it does not know the facts. It is better to leave it to the people who are responsible for doing the job to make a judgment. I am sure that we can trust local education authorities. They are extremely considerate with teachers and they are anxious to ensure that pupils get the best education.

Teachers are not necessarily good for the pupils. I know of a girl who passed every examination except the mathematics examination. Fortunately for her, her teacher became ill. Therefore, she got a new teacher and passed the examination with flying colours. It may be good for the school if a teacher retires at 65, but we must leave it to the people responsible to judge.

Mr. Younger

I very much appreciate the sympathetic way in which the Secretary of State answered the debate. What he said was absolutely right. However, I wonder whether, looking ahead to another place, he would be prepared to bend a little in this case. I think we all agree that the Bill allows local education authorities to do exactly what we would wish namely, to allow teachers to carry on to the end of the term in which they come of retirement age. We all accept that this is what will probably happen in every case at the local authority's discretion. Is it not better to legislate for that eventuality and not for one which we all know will hardly occur? Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would consider this point again.

I agreed with what the right hon. Member for Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) said. It is necessary that a retirement date should be established. It is invidious for some people to be selected for retirement at one date and others to be kept on. Naturally, it is not acceptable to the person who is retired because he does not appreciate that the education authority may desire to keep on another person. As we are all sympathetic to the idea, perhaps the Amendment could be redrafted and brought forward in another place to give effect to what we know will happen in practice. That would make for better legislation.

Mr. Rankin

I hope that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will not yield in the slightest to the Opposition pressure. I wish to deal with one point which arises in almost every school and which over the years local authorities have been doing their best to deal with.

In primary schools in Scotland there is scarcely a male teacher other than the head teacher. This problem of the paucity of male teachers in primary schools is due solely to the lack of promoted posts. Local authorities which have tried to attract and keep male teachers in primary schools have created posts of special responsibility carrying higher payments to keep up the number of male teachers in primary schools.

The problem is more obvious in secondary schools. During the recess I visited one of Glasgow's largest secondary schools, which is in my division. Almost every department in that school has a promoted person for some specific purpose, with a corresponding increase in his salary. If we interfere with the present retiral age we shall re-create the feeling which used to pervade many schools that there is no room for the up-and-coming younger men and that the older ones are clinging to their jobs, with the support of this House. That is wrong. The local authorities are trying to solve this problem in their own way. We should support what my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State proposes in the Bill and help local authorities in the work that they are doing to maintain the number of male teachers in the schools.

Mr. Alasdair Mackenzie (Ross and Cromarty)

There is a lot to be said for the Amendment. Some flexibility is necessary in this case. Most authorities allow teachers, and particularly head masters, to carry on to the end of the school year, and not the school term, because it may disrupt the life of the school if a headmaster or principal teacher comes into the school at some other time during the year.

The Secretary of State said that the good sense of the education authority should prevail. If this is always the case, there is nothing to worry about. If an authority thinks that a teacher is carrying out his duties effectively, he should retire at the end of the school year and not at the end of the school term. I agree that if a headmaster or teacher has given long service it is not too much to expect that holidays should count in the period of service.

I agree that we do not want to hold up promotion. One of the drawbacks in the teaching profession is that there are so few chances of promotion. But I do no see how permitting a teacher to finish the school year would hold up promotion in a way that would affect the profession. I will support the Amendment, unless the Secretary of State can give an assurance that the good sense of the education authorities will always prevail in this matter.

7.30 p.m.

Mr. W. Baxter

I counsel my right hon. Friend to stand by the Clause as it is. I have had almost 30 years' experience of a local authority and have always found it—and I am sure that this applies to others—very considerable to its employees. As my right hon. Friend the Member for East Stirlingshire (Mr. Woodburn) has indicated, there are occasions when it is to the advantage of the pupils and to the education system of an area that a teacher should be permitted to retire at the earliest possible moment.

Surely the good sense of a local authority is as good as that of hon. Members. Surely a local authority can reasonably decide that a teacher should have his term of office extended for a few months if it would be to the advantage not only of himself but of the pupils. It would be wrong to make it more or less mandatory on local authorities to do this, that or the other. That would be the negation of the democratic system about which we hear so much and would suggest that we in this House, are the only people who have the good sense to know what should be done. We must recognise that people responsible for local government are, as in national government, entitled to a certain degree of trust that they do their best in the prevailing circumstances.

My experience by and large is that members of local authorities and of education committees and directors of education do their best on behalf of teachers as well as pupils. The Amendment should be withdrawn as ample power is already vested in the local authority to extend the period of a teacher's employment if it so desires.

Mr. Monro

I am sorry that right hon. and hon. Members oposite have made such heavy weather of the Amendment. We all agree that this is what is going to happen in practice. We agree that teachers will, because of the discretion allowed in the Clause, be allowed to retain their posts and responsibilties until the end of term. If that is so, the argument put by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Rankin) falls flat because the promotion opportunity will still be delayed for two or three months. The Amendment would make no difference as far as promotion is concerned.

I find it difficult to understand why the Government are so reluctant to put into the Bill what is going to happen in practice. This is an insurance policy, a little additional security for the teachers. For this reason, I feel strongly that the Amendment should be accepted. If the right hon. Gentleman were to say that he would redraft it in another place, I would withdraw it, but if not, I feel strongly enough to ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to support me in the Lobby.

Mr. Woodburn

In a case where the whole school—the headmaster and everyone else—is waiting for a man to leave the staff, have we any right to say that the authority must keep him on after the time when, for the benefit of the school, he should go?

Mr. Monro

I am reluctant to believe that any school is at such loggerheads with its headmaster. That is not an argument worthy of the right hon. Gentleman. I cannot believe that it is right for a teacher in a promoted post to leave in a middle of term.

Mr. Rankin

Surely the issue is not whether to give freedom for two or three months but whether or not we break the fixed date of retirement. Once we do that, the whole show is flung wide open.

Mr. Monro

I cannot agree. It is not as wide as that. This is a simple Amendment to give a teacher another two or three months, perhaps only a few weeks, between his 65th birthday and the end of term. It is surely logical.

Mr. Ross

I do not think that this merits a Division of the House of Commons. I smiled when the hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Monro) made his plea to me because I have in my recollection the memory of headmasters in the local authority whose area he represents who were kept on not to the end of term but for years. It is far better to leave this to the good sense of the local authorities. They know the problems of the individual and the school and the whole staffing aspect. This is a matter in which I trust the local authorities, and I hope the hon. Gentleman will do so too. I hope that

he will not insist on voting on an Amendment which does not make sense.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 121, Noes 165.

Division No. 240.] AYES [7.36 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Hall, John (Wycombe) Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Percival, Ian
Astor, John Harris, Reader (Heston) Pike, Miss Mervyn
Awdry, Daniel Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Pink, R. Bonner
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Pounder, Rafton
Bell, Ronald Harvie Anderson, Miss Prior, J. M. L.
Bennett, Sir Frederick (Torquay) Hawkins, Paul Pym, Francis
Berry, Hn. Anthony Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Quennell, Miss J. M.
Biggs-Davison, John Heseltine, Michael Rees-Davies, w. R.
Black, Sir Cyril Hiley, Joseph Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Blaker, Peter Hill, J. E. B. Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Body, Richard Holland, Philip Royle, Anthony
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hornby, Richard Scott, Nicholas
Brewis, John Hunt, John Scott-Hopkins, James
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Silvester, Frederick
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Jopling, Michael Sinclair, Sir George
Bryan, Paul Kershaw, Anthony Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N & M) Kimball, Marcus Speed, Keith
Bullus, Sir Eric Kitson, Timothy Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Summers, Sir Spencer
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Lubbock, Eric Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert McAdden, Sir Stephen Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Clegg, Walter MacArthur, Ian Temple, John M.
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty) Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Corfield, F. V. McNair-Wilson, Michael Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Cunningham, Sir Knox Maddan, Martin Waddington, David
Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Maginnis, John E. Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Dean, Paul Marten, Neil Ward, Dame Irene
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Maude, Angus Wells, John (Maidstone)
Digby, Simon Wingfield Mawby, Ray Wiggin, A. W.
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Mills, Peter (Torrington) Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Emery, Peter Miscampbell, Norman Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Errington, Sir Eric Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Eyre, Reginald Monro, Hector Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Fisher, Nigel Montgomery, Fergus Wright, Esmond
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles More, Jasper Wylie, N. R.
Fortescue, Tim Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Younger, Hn. George
Foster, Sir John Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Murton, Oscar TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Gower, Raymond Nott, John Mr. Humphrey Atkins and
Grant, Anthony Osborn, John (Hallam) Mr. Bernard Weatherill.
Grant-Ferris, R. Page, Graham (Crosby)
Albu, Austen Cant, R. B. Faulds, Andrew
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Carmichael, Neil Fernyhough, E.
Anderson, Donald Carter-Jones, Lewis Foley, Maurice
Archer, Peter Chapman, Donald Ford, Ben
Armstrong, Ernest Coleman, Donald Forrester, John
Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Concannon, J. D. Fowler, Gerry
Bagier, Cordon A. T. Conlan, Bernard Galpern, Sir Myer
Barnett, Joel Corbet, Mrs. Freda Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony
Baxter, William Crawshaw, Richard Gregory, Arnold
Bence, Cyril Dalyell, Tam Grey, Charles (Durham)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly)
Binns, John Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek) Griffiths, Will (Exchange)
Blackburn, F. Davies, Ifor (Gower) Hamilton, James (Bothwell)
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Dempsey, James Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)
Boston, Terence Dewar, Donald Harper, Joseph
Boyden, James Dobson, Ray Haseldine, Norman
Bradley, Tom Doig, Peter Hazell, Bert
Bray, Dr Jeremy Eadie, Alex Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret
Brooks, Edwin Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Hilton, W. S.
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Edwards, William (Merioneth) Hooley, Frank
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) English, Michael Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)
Buchan, Norman Ensor, David Huckfield, Leslie
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Hunter, Adam
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Ewing, Mrs. Winifred Hynd, John
Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Milne, Edward (Blyth) Sheldon, Robert
Jay, Rt. Hn. Douglas Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Silverman, Julius
Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n & St. P'cras, S.) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Slater, Joseph
Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Spriggs, Leslie
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Moyle, Roland Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Neal, Harold Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Judd, Frank Norwood, Christopher Symonds, J. B.
Lawson, George Ogden, Eric Thornton, Ernest
Leadbitter, Ted Oram, Albert E. Tinn, James
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Oswald, Thomas Tuck, Raphael
Loughlin, Charles Padley, Walter Urwin, T. W.
Luard, Evan Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Paget, R. T. Varley, Eric G.
Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Palmer, Arthur Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
McBride, Neil Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
MacColl, James Parker, John (Dagenham) Watkins, David (Consett)
MacDermot, Niall Pavitt, Laurence Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
McGuire, Michael Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) Weitzman, David
Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Wellbeloved, James
Mackie, John Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred White, Mrs. Eirene
Mackintosh, John P. Pentland, Norman Whitlock, William
Maclennan, Robert Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.) Wilkins, W. A.
MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Price, Thomas (Westhoughtoh) Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Price, William (Rugby) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
McNamara, J. Kevin Rankin, John Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) Rhodes, Geoffrey Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Mahon, Simon (Bootte) Richard, Ivor Winnick, David
Manuel, Archie Roberts, Albert (Normanton) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Mapp, Charles Robertson, John (Paisley)
Marks, Kenneth Rogers, George (Kensington, N.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Ross, Rt. Hn. William Mr. John McCann and
Millan, Bruce Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.) Mr. Walter Harrison.
Mr. Monro

I beg to move Amendment No. 22, in page 24, line 11, at end insert: 'being a date not earlier than 1st August, 1970'. This is not dissimilar from the last Amendment in that it is trying to get some definite information for the teaching profession. As members of the Committee will know, this Clause, which affects the retirement of teachers comes into effect only with the introduction of the Statutory Instrument. From what the Minister said in Committee the moment of the introduction of the Instrument might not be so very far away. The words he used were "fairly soon". Until this Statutory Instrument is introduced—and perhaps he can say tonight when it will be introduced and at what date it will come into effect—there will be a great deal of uncertainty among teachers bordering the age of 65, just under and just over, as to when they might have to retire.

The Amendment would remove this uncertainty and it would be the end of the school session 1970. This would be most beneficial and would relieve the minds of those likely to retire at some stage next year very considerably. I know from experience, because I have been approached about it, that some teachers in posts of responsibility have been considering their future next year and whether to retire at the end of this term or next term or next spring—certainly before August 1970—because of this uncertainty.

I accept that there is flexibility in the Clause, in that it is entirely up to the local authority when it wishes to implement the retirement date. I do not want to see an unnecessary drop in experienced teachers, which I balance against any drop in promotion. I do not think that delay in implementing this Clause in August, 1970, would have a major effect in that direction. I hope the Minister will accept the Amendment and allay the fears nagging away at a number of teachers in posts of responsibility.

Mr. Millan

I could not recommend the House to accept the Amendment, simply because it would introduce another and completely unnecessary element of inflexibility. When the Bill is passed, we shall have to consult the teachers' associations and the local authorities about the timing of the commencement of the Clause. Subsection (4) is in the Clause because we want to have a certain control over the timing, for otherwise the Clause might come into operation in the middle of a term, say.

At one time it appeared that the Bill might go through rather more quickly than has been the case and the Clause might have come into operation at an awkward time when it would have imposed on local authorities the burden of considering the position of the individual teachers concerned and making decisions about them and discussing their positions with them and so on. We thought that that was undesirable and that it would be better to have a specific commencement Order for the Clause so that the timing could be under some kind of control.

When the Bill is passed, we shall have to discuss this matter with the teachers and the authorities. At this stage, I am not able to anticipate their reactions. However, if there is a feeling of uncertainty among teachers, if there are numbers of teachers who would like the Clause to be delayed for as much as a year, no doubt those feelings will be made known to the teachers' associations and in turn to the Secretary of State, and certainly we should consider any representations of that sort carefully.

However, no one has asked for this Amendment. The local authority associations have not said that they hope that the Clause will not come into force before next year. The teachers' associations have not said that they hope that there will be a year's delay before the Clause is brought into operation. It would be undesirable to discover in our discussions with the associations concerned that they were perfectly happy for the Clause to be brought into operation quickly, but that, because of the Amendment, we were unable to bring it into operation. For that reason I could not possibly accept the Amendment.

If it turns out in our discussions that no one wants the Clause to operate before August, 1970, if there is a strong feeling about that on either side, we shall obviously take that feeling seriously into account, but it would be undesirable, having given ourselves flexibility, to remove it.

Mr. Gordon Campbell

This is a matter which affects the lives of a number of persons holding important posts and it is reasonable for them to have some notice of what is to happen. Putting a date of about a year ahead into the Bill would give those affected the assurance that the Clause would not operate until they had been able to consider their own situations and the effect of the Clause upon them.

The Under-Secretary said that the Government wished to have flexibility because they were not sure when the Bill would be passed and did not want this provision to come into effect until they had had proper consultations. But the Amendment would not cause the loss of any flexibility after this date in about a year's time. The operation of the Clause would not be tied to any particular date after 1st August, 1970, and the Government could consider with the organisations concerned, looking at the calendar year, what would be the most suitable starting date.

This would be an assurance to those affected that there will be plenty of time for consultation and that this provision will not be suddenly sprung upon them within a few weeks or months of the passing of the Bill. I hope that the Government will reconsider this matter and not take the rather stubborn attitude which the Under-Secretary has shown.

Mr. Millan

It is not a question of taking a stubborn attitude. The hon. Gentleman may be under some misunderstanding and may believe that this is a new provision and that there has not been previous legislation deeming retirement ages. However, the Third Schedule of the 1962 Act, for example, lays down provisions about retirement from posts of special responsibility, and so this provision is nothing new. The requirements under the Third Schedule of the 1962 Act were abolished by the Teachers Superannuation (Scotland) Act, 1968, because they came in a Schedule which dealt with superannuation. We are now replacing those requirements of the 1962 Act by new requirements, which are admittedly expressed in rather different terms. But the idea of the statutory control of retirement from posts of special responsibility is not new and is not something which has been sprung on teachers. Only a short time ago, there were similar provisions in the 1962 Act and in any event the Bill has been under consideration for some time.

If the teachers' associations find that there is uncertainty and worry about these provisions, no doubt they will convey that feeling to us and we shall seriously consider it, but I have no evidence that that is now the situation. For that reason and having explained the background, which the hon. Member may not have fully understood, I ask the House not to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Monro

I would not have suggested the Amendment in the first place if I had not had representations from teachers in posts of special responsibility who were uncertain about their future next year. It was to allay those fears that I suggested the Amendment.

The Minister will agree that in practical terms consultation with the teaching profession is unlikely before perhaps late September. With negotiations to follow, it might well be November or December before he reached a position when he was able to lay a Statutory Instrument. Therefore, for the best part of six months teachers will be left not knowing exactly when they may have to retire.

Retiring is a critical moment in one's career at any age, in this case 65, because there is the probability of buying a new house and settling down to prepare for

the years of retirement and the possibility of another job. All these things need careful planning and thought.

All my Amendment does is to give these good and worthy teachers who have served us for many years the right to know that nothing is likely to prejudice their position between now and August, 1970. It may be only a few months up to the Statutory Instrument, but I strongly feel that we should give the teachers the reassurance that they need not worry, about the coming months, and that is why I ask my hon. Friends to join me in the Division Lobby.

Question put, That the Amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 125, Noes 171.

Division No. 241.] AYES [7.58 p.m.
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Grant, Anthony Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Grant-Ferris, R. Percival, Ian
Astor, John Grimond, Rt. Hn. J. Pike, Miss Mervyn
Awdry, Daniel Hall, John (Wycombe) Pink, R. Bonner
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Pounder, Rafton
Bell, Ronald Harris, Reader (Heston) Prior, J. M. L.
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Pym, Francis
Berry, Hn. Anthony Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere Quennell, Miss J. M.
Biggs-Davison, John Harvie Anderson, Miss Rees-Davies, W. R.
Black, Sir Cyril Hawkins, Paul Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Blaker, Peter Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Body, Richard Heseltine, Michael Royle, Anthony
Boyle, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward Hiley, Joseph Scott, Nicholas
Brewis, John Hill, J. E. B. Sharples, Richard
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Holland, Philip Silvester, Frederick
Bruce-Gardyne, J. Hornby, Richard Sinclair, Sir George
Bryan, Paul Hunt, John Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N & M) Jenkins, Patrick (Woodford) Speed, Keith
Bullus, Sir Eric Jopling, Michael Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.
Campbell, B. (Oldham, W.) Kershaw, Anthony Summers, Sir Spencer
Kimball, Marcus Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Kitson, Timothy Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Temple, John M.
Clegg, Walter Lubbock, Eric Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Cooke, Robert McAdden, Sir Stephen Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill MacArthur, Ian Waddington, David
Corfield, F. V. Mackenzie, Alasdair (Ross & Crom'ty) Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)
Cunningham, Sir Knox McNair-Wilson Michael Ward, Dame Irene
Davidson, James (Aberdeenshire, W.) Maddan, Martin Weatherill, Bernard
Dean, Paul Maginnis, John E. Wells, John (Maidstone)
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. (Ashford) Marten, Neil Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William
Digby, Simon Wingfield Maude, Angus Wiggin, A. W.
Drayson, G. B. Mawby, Ray Williams, Donald (Dudley)
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Mills, Peter (Torrington) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Winstanley, Dr. M. P.
Emery, Peter Montgomery, Fergus Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Errington, Sir Eric More, Jasper Wright, Esmond
Eyre, Reginald Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Wylie, N. R.
Fisher, Nigel Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Younger, Hn. George
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Murton, Oscar
Fortescue, Tim Nott, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Foster, Sir John Osborn, John (Hallam) Mr. Hector Monro and
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. Page, Graham (Crosby) Mr. Humphrey Atkins
Gower, Raymond
Albu, Austen Archer, Peter Bagier, Gordon A. T.
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Armstrong, Ernest Barnett, Joel
Anderson, Donald Atkins, Ronald (Preston, N.) Baxter, William
Bence, Cyril Griffiths, Rt. Hn. James (Llanelly) Ogden, Eric
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Griffiths, Will (Exchange) Oram, Albert E.
Binns, John Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Oswald, Thomas
Blackburn, F. Hamilton, William (Fife, w.) Padley, Walter
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Page, Derek (King's Lynn)
Boston, Terence Haseldine, Norman Paget, R. T.
Boyden, James Hazell, Bert Palmer, Arthur
Bradley, Tom Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Hilton, W. S. Parker, John (Dagenham)
Brooks, Edwin Hooley, Frank Pavitt, Laurence
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Brown, Bob (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, W.) Huckfield, Leslie Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred
Buchan, Norman Hughes, Roy (Newport) Pentland, Norman
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Hunter, Adam Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Hynd, John Price, Thomas (Westhougton)
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Price, William (Rugby)
Cant, R. B. Jeger, Mrs. Lena (H'b'n & St. P'cras, S.) Probert, Arthur
Carmichael, Neil Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Rankin, John
Carter-Jones, Lewis Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Chapman, Donald Jones, Dan (Burnley) Richard, Ivor
Coleman, Donald Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Roberts, Albert (Normanton)
Concannon, J. D. Judd, Frank Robertson, John (Paisley)
Conlan, Bernard Kerr, Mrs. Anne (R'ter & Chatham) Rogers, George (Kensington, N.)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Kerr, Russell (Feltham) Ross, Rt. Hn. William
Crawshaw, Richard Lawson, George Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)
Dalyell, Tam Leadbitter, Ted Sheldon, Robert
Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Silverman, Julius
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Loughlin, Charles Slater, Joseph
Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek) Luard, Evan Spriggs, Leslie
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Steele, Thomas (Dunbartonshire, W.)
Dempsey, James Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Dewar, Donald McBride, Neil Thornton, Ernest
Dobson, Ray MacColl, James Tinn, James
Doig, Peter MacDermot, Niall Tuck, Raphael
Dunnett, Jack McGuire, Michael Urwin, T. W.
Eadie, Alex Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen) Varley, Eric G.
Edelman, Maurice Mackie, John Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mackintosh, John P. Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Maclennan, Robert Watkins, David (Consett)
English, Michael MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles) Watkins, Tudor (Brecon & Radnor)
Ensor, David McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Weitzman, David
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) McNamara, J. Kevin Wellbeloved, James
Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley) Mahon, Peter (Preston, S.) White, Mrs. Eirene
Ewing, Mrs. Winifred Mahon, Simon (Bootle) Whitlock, William
Faulds, Andrew Manuel, Archie Wilkins, W. A.
Fernyhough, E. Mapp, Charles Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Marks, Kenneth Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)
Ford, Ben Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert Willis, Rt. Hn. George
Forrester, John Millan, Bruce Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Fowler, Gerry Milne, Edward (Blyth) Winnick, David
Galpern, Sir Myer Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire) Woodburn, Rt. Hn. A.
Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Greenwood, Rt. Hn. Anthony Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gregory, Arnold Moyle, Roland Mr. John McCann and
Grey, Charles (Durham) Neal, Harold Mr. Joseph Harper.
Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Norwood, Christopher
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