HC Deb 21 December 1972 vol 848 cc1559-60
15. Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science in the light of the White Paper on Education. "A Framework for Expansion", what plans she has to raise the standard to be achieved by those wishing to enter the teaching profession.

Mrs. Thatcher

The proposed new three-year courses leading to a degree and a teaching qualification will require higher minimum entry standards than the present three-year courses. It will be necessary, however, for the present certificate courses to continue for a transitional period. Competition for entry is already becoming keener. Forty per cent. have two A levels and 28 per cent. have one A level.

Mr. McNair-Wilson

I am grateful for that reply, but would my right hon. Friend not agree that the effectiveness of teacher training depends upon the quality of person coming forward? Does she feel that sufficient emphasis is being placed upon career opportunities in education?

Mrs. Thatcher

I agree with the first part of that question, and I hope that we are putting emphasis on career opportunities in education. The Burnham settlement before last was a structural settlement and had just that objective in view.

26. Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of the teaching force in maintained schools in England and Wales changed their schools or entered or left the profession in the year 1971.

Mrs. Thatcher

In the year ended 31st March 1971, entrants and re-entrants amounted to 15–0 per cent. of the teaching force: 9.1 per cent. retired or left the profession. Information on change of school is not available.

Mr. Spearing

Does the right hon. Lady agree that part of the quality of education in any one school depends on the extent to which the staff do or do not turn over in numbers? Is is not part of her responsibility to find out what that turnover is, particularly in areas such as London, so that she can discharge her responsibility for maintaining reasonable education standards? Will she now make investigations into the matter?

Mrs. Thatcher

From time to time we do spot checks, which show that the turnover in some other authorities is much greater than in London.