HC Deb 10 April 1973 vol 854 c1118
9. Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when she last met a deputation from the National Union of Teachers on the subject of the future size of the teaching profession; and if she will make a statement.

Mrs. Thatcher

On 2nd April 1973. I have nothing to add to the statement made by my hon. Friend in the debate on 4th April.

Mr. Spearing

Is the Secretary of State aware that some of the pet figures given by her hon. Friend were not available to the deputation which she saw two days previously? Is she also aware that the hon. Gentleman said that she would provide any figures that she considered necessary? Does she not consider that she ought to supply the expected numbers of teachers who will leave the profession and the projections of pupils becoming 16-plus between now and 1981? Will she also provide the range of expectation? Surely these figures are required to prove her target figure of 510,000.

Mrs. Thatcher

My hon. Friend gave a great number of figures to the House in reply to the hon. Gentleman's Adjournment debate on 4th April. I am now attempting to set up a national advisory committee on the supply and training of teachers which I expect will go further into these figures.

Mr. Deakins

Will the Secretary of State tell the House how areas in the urban aid programme are to set about reducing class sizes in the next decade if the teacher supply is not stepped up beyond the forecasts in her White Paper?

Mrs. Thatcher

The teacher supply is being increased very considerably. I fail to see how going from 385,000 to 510,000 in a decade is not substantially increasing teacher supply.