HC Deb 08 July 1970 vol 803 c662
27. Mr. Gregor Mackenzie

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he proposes to institute his inquiry into teacher training; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Edward Taylor

My right hon. Friend will be consulting the General Teaching Council about this matter. The council is by statute his principal advisory body on teacher training.

Mr. Mackenzie

May I suggest to the hon. Gentleman that when he looks at the problem of teacher training he should link with it, as did my right hon. Friend the Member for Kilmarnock (Mr. Ross) the whole question of teacher recruitment and direct the council to look at the question of teacher recruitment and an increase in student grants for local training?

Mr. Taylor

I certainly accept that all these questions are very much interrelated. It is because of my right hon. Friend's concern in the matter that he will, in the meantime, be inviting the council to give him its views on the general state of teacher training generally.

Earl of Dalkeith

Can my hon. Friend say whether he inherited a situation in which the recruitment of teachers is at a sufficient level to enable the school-leaving age to be raised and the size of classes to be reduced?

Mr. Taylor

It would certainly be wrong if I gave the impression that the situation was satisfactory. We are facing a situation when there will be a shortage. It concerns us all. I think that everybody on both sides of the House will agree that we all want to do something about it.