HC Deb 01 April 1971 vol 814 c1651
4. Mr. Barry Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is her policy on the representation of teachers on local authority education committees; and what is her estimate of the effect of local government reform upon existing teacher representation on education committees.

Mrs. Thatcher

Teachers have an important contribution to make to the work of education committees and I strongly support their appointment. The present arrangements for establishing education committees will be included in the review referred to in paragraph 46 of the White Paper.

Mr. Jones

Is the Secretary of State aware that some local education authorities deny representation altogether, while others deny representation on important sub-committees? Is she also aware that some local education authorities co-opt to their committees pliant and tame teachers rather than teachers elected by ballot in the locality? What determined action will her Department take to ensure that the principle of teacher representation is safeguarded both currently and in local government reorganisation?

Mrs. Thatcher

Although the Act does not require teacher representation, in practice 135 out of a total of 163 local education authorities provide explicitly for this. Of the remaining 28, all but two provide specifically for the co-option of non-councillor members. It can reasonably be assumed that most of these take advantage of this to include teachers as members. That leaves only two out of the total.