HC Deb 04 February 1971 vol 810 cc1888-9
8. Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many persons obtained professional teaching qualifications from departments and colleges of education in England and Wales in the years 1965 to 1970; how many failed to satisfy the examining authorities over the same period; and, of that number, how many failed to obtain qualifications solely on account of an inadequate practical performance.

Mr. van Straubenzee

The failure rate in each of the years mentioned was between 3 per cent. and 4 per cent. No information is available about failures due solely to inadequate practical performance. I have arranged for detailed figures to be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Spearing

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is a great deal of anxiety among practising teachers and student teachers about the general and detailed arrangements for teaching practice? In view of the fact that there was no specific reference to this in the terms of reference of the James Committee, can the hon. Gentleman say that due weight will be given to the subject in the deliberations of the Committee and its subsequent recommendations?

Mr. van Straubenzee

I do not think it likely that an inquiry of this eminence into teacher training will not look closely at teaching practice.

Following is the information: Students successfully completing initial professional training, and students failing examinations, in departments and colleges of education, in the academic years 1964–65 to 1968–69 were as follows (excluding students in Art Teacher Training Centres and Colleges of Education, Technical):
Academic year Passes Failure Failure Rate
1964–65 20,132 667 3.2
1965–66 22,827 778 3.3
1966–67 26,137 936 3.5
1967–68 31,182 1,008 3.1
1968–69 33,949 1,228 3.5
Similar figures are not yet available for the academic year 1969–70 nor it is known how many students failed solely on account of an inadequate practical performance. These figures include a number of students who successfully completed professional teacher training at the end of three years but who continued in college for a further year to take a Bachelor of Education degree. The figures relate to students taking the examination for the first time; students who failed but were later recommended by the A.T.O. or later passed on re-examinations are included in the failure figures. Total wastage through failure and withdrawals has varied in recent years between 10 per cent. and 12 per cent.