HC Deb 11 November 1970 vol 806 cc384-5
29. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland under what statutory authority a certificated teacher who was in legal employment at April, 1968, but who refused to apply for permission to teach from the General Teaching Council has been dismissed; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Edward Taylor

Under the Education (Scotland) Act 1962 the appointment of a teacher is at the pleasure of the education authority. In employing teachers an authority must, however, comply with the provisions of the Schools (Scotland) Code 1956. These have, since 1st April, 1968, required that, for appointments other than temporary appointments in secondary and special schools, a teacher must be registered with the General Teaching Council.

Mr. Rankin

I recognise that, but is the Minister aware that a number—a small number, I agree—of teachers have written to me about the matter? They are men and women who have been certificated and have been in teaching for 10, 20 and sometimes 30 years, but they resented this process. Is it not wrong to force the process on those teachers when teachers are in such short supply?

Mr. Taylor

I should not be honest if I did not admit that any situation in which a qualified teacher finds himself not in employment is one which obviously causes us a great deal of concern. But I cannot hold out any hope of a major review or reorganisation of the law. However, I assure the hon. Gentleman that the position of such people is very much in our minds.

Mr. Sproat

Does my hon. Friend perhaps consider that if the Bill is finally passed to deduct levies at source that would remove one of the reasons why teachers certificated before 1st April, 1968 should not be deemed to be registered, thus getting round the problem so rightly raised by the hon. Gentleman?

Mr. Taylor

I cannot go into the complexities of the matter now. But I would again emphasise, as was so rightly emphasised by my predecessors, that here there is no question of joining an organisation. It is simply a matter of registering with a professional council, and perhaps some of those who have taken objection may on reflection reconsider their position.