HC Deb 11 December 1973 vol 866 cc185-6
14. Mr. Molloy

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when she next expects to meet representatives of London teachers.

Mrs. Thatcher

Arrangements have been made for representatives of the London Head Teachers' Association to meet my noble Friend Lord Sandford on 16th January.

Mr. Molloy

Ought not the Secretary of State to see all the teachers' associations in London to discuss with them the grievous problem of London weighting? Does she not agree that, although it may be argued that teachers' staff problems are no more serious in London than they are in the provinces, the potential difficulties in London ace infinitely greater? The recruitment campaign has proved to be almost useless. One of the things that the Secretary of State can do to encourage an increase in teacher supply in London is to take a realistic look at the London weighting situation.

Mrs. Thatcher

The London weighting situation for teachers and others in the public sector has already been referred to the Pay Board, on very wide terms of reference. In Ealing—the part of London with which the hon. Member is most concerned—the quota for teachers this term was exceeded by 40.

Mr. Hattersley

Does the Secretary of State agree that on the present timetable anything the Pay Board might produce would not be reflected in London classrooms until Easter of the year after next? Does the right hon. Lady not consider that the problem is more urgent than that timetable implies?

Mrs. Thatcher

It is essential to get not only an acceptable solution but a valid one. The Pay Board has been asked to consider a very big problem and it must be given time to do its job properly.