HC Deb 02 July 1973 vol 859 cc107-71

7.11 p.m.

Mr. Roy Hattersley (Birmingham. Sparkbrook)

I beg to move, That this House regrets the Government's intention to reduce the number of initial training places in colleges and polytechnic departments of education from 114,000 in 1971–72 to between 60,000 and 70,000 by 1981; deplores the instruction to area training organisations to cut back the intake of non-graduate students in 1974; and believes that a teaching force rigidly limited to the size stipulated by the Government cannot meet the full educational needs of the next decade and will result in severe and damaging shortages of trained teachers in many parts of England and Wales.

I begin with a point which I believe will unite the Secretary of State and myself and, indeed, the entire House. That is the conviction that the teacher remains incomparably the most important element in our education system. Were I to say simply "the most important", that would be the most vacuous sort of platitude. Therefore, I say "incomparably the most important" element. We may have arguments and views about the importance of the quality and age of school buildings and arguments about the proper organisation of secondary education, but I am sure that we all agree that all our plans fail and all our hopes are dashed if we do not have teachers in the right quantity, of the right quality and with the right attitude.

About quality I think that most of us are satisfied. Many things that have happened over the last year and will happen during the next six years—I refer in particular to the third cycle of the James proposals—seem likely to improve quality.

About quantity we are in dispute this evening, but before I pass on to that I want to say one thing about the attitude of the teaching profession. Attitude is deeply dependent on and related to the morale of the teaching profession, and the morale is deeply related to and dependent on the teachers' view of the importance that the State attaches to their work and the importance that the country attaches to their work as reflected by the Government's attitude towards them.

I do not believe that anything that the Government have done in terms of either salary or supply over the last three years has made the teacher feel that his crucial rôle in education is properly and fully appreciated. As a result, I am sure that teaching morale has suffered. That is especially so in London, but it is not a problem which is exclusive to London by any means.

Despite that, I say again that I am sure that the Secretary of State and I agree about the crucial rôle that the teacher plays in all our education equations. Nor shall we disagree about the targets that the Government have set for their future teaching force. The Government want to see by 1981 the equivalent of 510,000 full-time teachers in maintained schools. Of that number 465,000 will teach children above five years of age. That target—the plus-five target—is substantially smaller than targets set by previous Governments.

In 1965 we talked of 510,000 teachers in primary and secondary schools. In 1968 we aimed at 526,000 teachers in primary and secondary schools. I am sure that, in part, the right hon. Lady the Secretary of State will say that that change of emphasis, of direction and of estimate is a result of projected changes in the birth rate. I want to say two things about that.

First, it is in part the result of a calculated decision of the Government to aim for no better than classes of 40 and 30, rather than the class of 30 in primary and secondary schools for which the Labour Government aimed. But a more important point is that even if the reduction in birthrate was the crucial factor in the number of teachers that the Government want and hope to see in schools in 1981, that would be deeply indicative of the different attitudes of the two major parties. For one party, the Government party, a reduction in the birth rate can be looked upon as an ideal opportunity to save money. For the Labour Party a reduction in the birth rate would be looked upon as an ideal opportunity to improve standards. That is the crucial difference between us.

That reduced target of 465,000 teachers in primary and secondary schools is to be achieved by an enormous literal reduction in college of education places. There are now 114,000 places. By 1981 that number will have been cut by almost 50 per cent. to between 60,000 and 70,000 places.

In their White Paper the Government tried to explain what that figure meant in real terms. They described it as a 10 per cent. increase, even when account was taken of an increased school population—a 10 per cent. improvement in the present staffing figure. The Government said that it was a future pupil-teacher ratio of 18.5 to 1. That figure has been amended, if not by the right hon. Lady, by the professional Press. It is in reality 19.3 to 1. The lower figure is possible only if we pretend that teachers in "in-service" training are really in front of their classes. But I make no bones or fuss about that subterfuge. Indeed, I go on to talk as though the 18.5 figure quoted in the White Paper was accurate.

Mr. Norman Morris of the University of Manchester, by the application of those mystic tables that relate staff-pupil ratio to class sizes, has analysed what that figure—the best possible interpretation of the Government's intention—18.5 to 1, means in terms of class sizes. It means, averaging it out throughout the country classes of 30 in secondary schools and 40 in primary schools.

The Government may regard that as an adequate target. The Opposition do not believe those figures and that aspiration to be remotely acceptable for 1981.

Certainly the idea of 40 pupils in a primary class is unacceptable to us. It is particularly so because in the areas of greatest need, for children with the most desperate educational problem, the classes should be appreciably smaller than 40. When a national average of 40 is the going figure, the figures in the most deprived and depressed areas are often a great deal larger than that.

Indeed, the policy is very clear. Under the Government's intentions it is not simply that areas of greatest need and most desperation are not getting adequate teachers. They will never get adequate teachers. Certainly the figures specified by the Government will not produce a teaching force that is remotely adequate to meet the needs of the most deprived and depressed areas. The figures of 40 in primary schools and 30 in secondary schools obscure many regional difficulties. I am sure that the right hon. Lady appre- ciates that those are difficulties which often amount to near crisis and on occasions produce crisis. That is true particularly of secondary schools.

The White Paper records a gradual improvement in the overall figures of teachers to pupils over the 10 years from 1961 to 1971. In fact, it is the Secretary of State's only recorded compliment to the last Labour Government. The White Paper goes on to record that only 2.5 per cent. of primary classes have more than 40 pupils. But the White Paper is significantly silent about the size of classes in secondary education and about the number of classes which have more than 30 pupils.

That is because in city after city there is an increasing shortage of teachers and a particular shortage in secondary schools. That is a shortage which is obscured by the figures of overall improvement. That is dramatically true in London and applies to the ILEA and outer boroughs. It is also true of some remote counties, and some old industrial cities and towns. Within those old cities and towns there are areas of special need—namely, schools with shortages even more desperate than the overall shortages of the town and remote country areas.

The areas of special need or shortage come basically under two heads. There are those decaying central areas where the population has not shown a rapid decline. Second, there are new housing estates into which the old central area residents have gone. Such areas need extra educational resources but they often receive less than the national average. Under the Government's present policy, I believe that that imbalance will continue.

We must face the fact that already some of the special areas within deprived LEAs are facing near-crisis situations. Many of our old towns report a 10 per cent. shortage of teachers in terms of the staff available when their schools open in September. I know that the Under-Secretary of State always complains when I quote the evidence of LEAs. That is the evidence of real people talking about the real world and their real problems. I shall give the hon. Gentleman one example. I can give him more if he doubts that example. In the Kirby area of Liverpool—that is a specially difficult locality for teachers within a difficult LEA—there is a general shortage of teachers. Out of 300 places which should be filled in September there is a net shortage of 50 teachers. Those figures do not represent the difference between adequate and inadequate education, but the difference between adequate education and educational crisis.

It is that grave shortage which we believe the Government's limited aspiration is certain to increase and to intensify. I suppose it is possible for the right hon. Lady to argue that there are enough teachers in the country as a whole but that for some reason they are not going to Kirby, to London, to Salford and to the other places which I have contacted during the last four days. If that is the case, I hope she will tell us. If she thinks that the quota system is wrong and should be changed, let her tell us why.

There is only one of two conclusions which we can draw. Either the quota system is wrong or the overall supply is inadequate. If the supply is inadequate, it will be made more inadequate as demand increases over the next eight or 10 years and if the teacher supply does not increase sufficiently to meet it.

Against that background we must consider and judge the Government's intention to cut initial training places. I see at once that there can be no lasting solution to the teacher shortage until there are substantial changes in teachers' pay. That is not a matter of the overall level of teachers' pay. The structure of pay as a whole has to be improved. There must be incentives to attract teachers into the areas with the severest difficulty. There must be a substantial change with the system of allowances shifting towards those teachers who work with the underprivileged rather than, as often is the case now, concentrating on those who work with the intellectually gifted. Those are alterations which I want to see in what I hope will become the free negotiating machinery between teachers and local authorities.

Of course, that is the supply side of the teacher equation. We must get the demand side right as well. If we are to get that side right for the maintained schools there is no better criterion than the independent schools. I know that the right hon. Lady is the defender and protector of the independent schools. I know that she has made speeches in which she has said that one of the peculiar contributions to English education is the small classes which independent schools can provide for the boys and girls who go to them. She is right about that. There are about 13 pupils for every teacher in the independent sector.

I ask the right hon. Lady again the question which I asked her during the White Paper debate and which she did not answer. If 13.1:1 is right for the independent sector, why is that a figure which the maintained sector cannot even aim at? If it is good enough for the independent schools, why is not it good enough for the schools for which the right hon. Lady has responsibility? What does she believe to be the ideal size of class? We know from a fortnight ago that she thinks that some grammar schools should have smaller sixth form groups. That is an interesting view from a Secretary of State who, by the prevention of comprehensive reorganisation has perpetuated the small grammar school and the consequent small sixth form.

Perhaps today we may hear the right hon. Lady's views about the proper size of classes and, therefore, the need for extra teachers in areas of special difficulty such as areas representing the socially under-privileged. At least the Opposition's view about that are absolutely clear. The Opposition's view is that the Government's aim is too low, that its aspirations are too limited and that the problems of the cities and of the poor areas within the cities are ignored. The duty to encourage those authorities which employ too few teachers to employ more has been abdicated.

A great opportunity has been missed. It was an opportunity to meet the needs of the area of shortage. It was an opportunity to get smaller classes in the educational priority areas. It is an opportunity to mount a great drive to provide suitable small remedial classes for the children who need such education and very often do not receive it because of the present shortage of teachers. It is also a missed opportunity to expand the rôle of teachers in a way in which the Department of Education and Science, in a more philosophical moment, believed it should be expanded. That is the real difference between the Government's policy and the one which the Opposition would have them adopt.

The present system is an opportunity for some cheese-paring or for real improvement and expansion. Our criticism is that that opportunity has not been taken. The number of college of education places now available could be used for a vast expansion of educational standards. The Government have, however, set a rigid limit on how many teachers they are prepared to provide. The colleges are required to cut their intake to meet that rigid limit. Because of that—this is the second part of our charge—the country is facing a grave potential difficulty. As well as claiming that the Government's target is too low, we fear—fear is the appropriate word because it will give us no joy in four or five years' time if our fears turn out to be correct—that the Government's target will not be reached.

We fear that the achievement of 510,000 teachers, or the adequacy of that figure, depends on too many imponderables and that with so many imponderables in the equation it is irresponsible for the Government to have provided a minimum number of places to meet even their limited aspirations. I shall put some of the imponderables to the right hon. Lady in the hope that she will comment on them later.

This should be the most difficult time to judge how many students from colleges are going into teaching. If the Diploma of Higher Education has any real meaning, if it is a really flexible qualification which may result in someone taking a diploma or degree which does not take him automatically into teaching, it is almost impossible to predict how many college of education students, as I loosely call them, will eventually go into teaching.

Equally, the number of graduates who go into teaching is uncertain. The number of graduates who entered the teaching profession in the last five years is a direct result of high graduate unemployment. But that, fortunately, is tailing off. The right hon. Lady will recall that the letter which she sent out 10 days ago about the reduced numbers in colleges of education drew attention to the fact that the number of graduates applying for college of education diplomas decreased compared with last year. I hope that graduate unemployment is decreasing, not only in terms of the interests of the graduates but also in terms of the interests of the schools. I do not want schools to be populated by graduates because, although they entered university intending to do something else, there was no other job for them when they left university. I do not believe that the reluctant teacher is in the interests of the education profession any more than it is in the interests of the teachers themselves.

Those graduates who go determined into teaching are clearly an essential part of the teaching profession, but those who go, as Mr. Martyn Berry described them in The Times Higher Educational Supplement, of March 2nd as "graduates driven into teaching by depression" are something which, if possible, we ought to avoid.

I offer the right hon. Lady a third imponderable. Is she sure of her assumption about wastage in the profession between now and 1981? I hope she is. I am told that she will advise her advisory committee on Wednesday that if there is a 1 per cent. error in the assumption of wastage there will be 5,000 teachers fewer every year going into the profession; 5,000 teachers fewer between now and 1981 is an enormous reduction on her own target. It is because of those extraordinarily imprecise qualities in the teacher supply ratio that many of us regret the Government's marked reluctance to answer any of the questions about how the teacher supply figures were arrived at.

For the first time, for instance, the appropriate unions were not asked to comment on the draft circular dealing with higher education in the public sector before it went out. Anyone who was here during the Adjournment debate of 4th April, or who has read the report of that debate, cannot escape the impression that the Government decided to take their decision first and to cobble the evidence between them about the decision afterwards. The Under-Secretary's performance on 4th April was typical. I do not mean it was typical of him; I mean it was typical of the Government's record. It was comparatively accurate. In columns 577 to 583 of the OFFICIAL REPORT it is reported how he set out the Government's intention in detail, explaining how the figures were arrived at. In column 584, with apparent seriousness—it is never easy to tell with the Under-Secretary—he is reported as saying: What is needed now is to establish … the basic facts".—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 4th April 1973; Vol. 854, c. 584.] We all say "amen" to that.

Some of us might say that what was needed was to establish the basic facts before the basic decisions were taken. Perhaps the Advisory Committee on the Supply and Training of Teachers is supposed to provide them. The advisory committee is meeting for the first time on Wednesday. Yet, as the national advisory committee assembles, it must know that all the important decisions on teacher training and supply have been taken. Not only have the decisions been taken; the Secretary of State has instructed that they be implemented.

The cuts in college places for 1974 are now being worked out in detail—worked out on the instruction of the Secretary of State. We are left with the gloomy possibility that the Government are simply hoping that they can meet the targets and exceed them by a fraction in the hope that the birth rate will continue to decline and that the school population will not rise, as was expected when the White Paper was drawn up. A decline in the birth rate is not quite the same as a fall in the school population. That will certainly continue to rise. Indeed, I understand that the advisory committee will be told on Wednesday that if the 10 per cent. improvement figure is to be met it may not need 510,000 teachers by that year, but there will certainly be a need for something in excess of 509,000, which seems to me as good as anything that the Secretary of State will get.

The school population will rise, and may rise a good deal more quickly than the Secretary of State intends. I say "intends" for two reasons. First, the exclusion of the full-time rising fives from the primary schools is certain to reduce the numbers on the primary school registers. Also her Birmingham decision, and other decisions like it, will certainly reduce the number of working class boys and girls who stay at school after the statutory minimum leaving age. Despite that, we remain uncertain about all the figures.

In the light of that uncertainty let me ask the right hon. Lady why she has been in such extraordinary haste not only to announce her policy in increasing detail but to implement it before the full picture is available. Her instruction to ATOs last week is the beginning of that implementation. Why, in the light of all the uncertainty, have the Government decided to cut the college of education places next year by the degree and to the point they have? Why have they decided to do that when, if everything goes right and according to plan, the target of 40 and 30 in classes will only just be met for the country as a whole and not met at all for the areas of special and desperate need?

The answer can only be this. The Government do not even aspire to an overall target of a better teacher supply than 40-sized classes in primary schools and 30 in secondary schools, which is the 1945 target at which the Government are still aiming. It is certainly not a target which a Labour Government will aim at, and it is a figure which we hoped would fade into the past by the end of the first Labour Government's lifetime.

Consider again the opportunity which the Government have lost here. The college of education places are there. A simple continuation of the present trend between now and 1981 will produce an extra 54,000 teachers in our schools. Those teachers could provide a national increase of 10 per cent. More important, there would be extra teachers to meet the needs of the deprived areas. There will be extra teachers for the essential small classes to be created for remedial children. There will be the opportunity to meet the needs of the children whose needs are greatest and which are often the last to be met. Once again we have to come to the gloomy conclusion that the Secretary of State, for whomsoever she speaks, does not speak for them.

What shall we hear from the Secretary of State? I think we shall hear two things. Before I suggest what they are, let me beg her not to repeat that tired old debating point which she produced at Blackpool 10 days ago about 400 teachers unemployed when she said she hoped she would not hear any more about that. Those were her words—"I hope I will not hear anything more about teacher unemployment."

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mrs. Margaret Thatcher)

I did not mention 400.

Mr. Hattersley

I have no doubt the right hon. Lady did not make any reference to 400. Had she done so, it would have demonstrated how fatuous her point is. The number of unemployed teachers, which the appropriate unions were able to give, was 400 out of 364,000, and the right hon. Lady makes my point as to why she should not go repeating that hoary old debating point.

Mrs. Thatcher

It did not prevent the unions from writing to me about it last year and expressing their fears about teacher unemployment.

Mr. Hattersley

Of course not. It is the duty of the unions to be concerned about 400 unemployed among their members. The idea that the right hon. Lady can turn up at a meeting of the Association of Education Committees and pretend that teacher unemployment—400 out of 364,000—is remotely related to the question of demand for teachers and supply of teachers I say again is fatuous.

However, I believe that the right hon. Lady will make two points. The first is inherent in the wording of the amendment, and it is the argument we have heard in debate after debate when we have discussed her policy. It is simply this: everything is all right with the right hon. Lady because her policy promises slightly more in 1981 than the Labour Government managed to do in the late 1960s. No one is enormously impressed by a policy whose principal virtue is that there will be slight improvements over a full decade. Certainly, the AEC was not impressed by that argument last week, and I think that all the debates in the various organisations and in the professional Press have demonstrated time after time that a simple arithmetical promise that things will be better in the early 1980s than they were in the late 1960s impresses no one.

I suspect that the right hon. Lady's second point will be a reference to the availability of money. I suppose that she and I have to agree to differ about growth rates in the education service. I say that reinforced by the knowledge that not only do she and I agree to differ but The Times Educational Supplement, The Times Higher Educational Supplement, Education and virtually every other enlightened view on education matters disagree with her as well.

I reaffirm that the next Labour Government will expect to spend a good deal more of the national product on education than the right hon. Lady chooses to spend. But that is a point of fundamental disagreement between us, and I must put this question to the right hon. Lady. What sort of standard of values is embraced by a Government who are unable or unwilling to provide as many teachers as the nation needs but who are yet determined to press ahead with the Maplin development? What sort of standard of values do a Government have who are prepared to leave London with a crucial teacher shortage and yet would gladly have thrust the motorway box down London's throat?

I suppose that the only answer one can give—it is the answer one comes to over and over again—is that the right hon. Lady's standards and ours are different. We at least rejoice in that.

7.42 p.m.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mrs. Margaret Thatcher)

I beg to move to leave out from "House" to the end of the Question and to add instead thereof, welcomes the policy of Her Majesty's Government to plan for an increase of over 140,000 teachers between 1971 and 1981, to improve staffing standards, and to extend in-service training". The motion criticises action which I am taking in 1974 which cannot possibly have any effect on staffing in the schools until the year 1977–78. Somehow or other, the hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hatterlsey) manages to support that criticism by criticism of the staffing position in the schools now and next year. In so far as the staffing position in the schools next year or this year is inadequate, the hon. Gentleman is delivering the most cogent attack on the teacher supply policy of his own Government, and the most cogent attack yet delivered on that Government's planning for teacher supply in deciding to raise the school leaving age.

In addition, the hon. Gentleman criticised the operation of the quota and mentioned some of the problems which schools will face this year. This year, the output from teacher training colleges and teacher training graduates will be about 43,000 newly-trained teachers. The teacher quota distributes that fairly round the authorities. That is the output this year, in July 1973. In so far as they are three-year trained teachers, they went in in October 1970, and the size of that intake to the teacher training colleges would have been determined by what was done in July 1969 and must have been a decision of the Labour Government.

Before coming to the motion itself, I should say a word about the teacher quota. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will be the first to agree that a large part of his speech was, to put it kindly, only obliquely related to the motion. The teacher quota is not the Department's quota. It is an employers' quota, the local education authorities' quota, which happens to be administered by the Department. It sets out to give a fair geographical distribution round the country of all the newly-trained teachers available.

On 31st January this year we sent out to each local education authority details of the quota. We pointed out that it is specially important that quotas for 1973–74, when the full force of the increased numbers produced by the raising of the school leaving age will be felt in the schools, should correspond closely with the total supply of quota teachers expected to be available. Authorities are therefore asked to ensure that individual quotas are not avoidably exceeded and that any substantial foreseeable shortfall in recruitment is notified promptly". It is early days yet for authorities to have reached their quotas. There followed a total list of quotas, and here are some of them. The hon. Gentleman mentioned Lancashire. Lancashire's quota for this year is 20,916 teachers. Birmingham's is 8,892. Manchester's is 4,682. Newcastle's is 1,639.

There will be many teachers coming out of the teacher training system this year who have not yet got jobs, and there will be a number of areas which are as yet nothing like up to quota because a number of those teachers will probably be applying for places which attract them most and may subsequently be redistributed. Therefore, in so far as there will be a problem next year. it is early days to say that there will be shortages.

Mr. Hattersley

The right hon. Lady talks about teachers coming out of colleges this year. It is her Department's policy and that of the authorities to have all the vacancies filled by 1st May, and most of the colleges are now down.

Mrs. Thatcher

The hon. Gentleman should know that it is not possible to have all the vacancies filled by 1st May, for the simple reason, apart from other things, that some of the teachers will not know whether or not they are qualified until all the results have come out.

The teacher quota is operated in exactly the same way as it has been hitherto. The policy of my Department is to see that those who come out of the teacher training system—the numbers this year will have been determined by the policies of the hon. Gentleman's Government, of which he is so critical—are fairly distributed among the authorities.

The hon. Gentleman has a good deal to say about class sizes. He should know that the former regulation prescribing maximum class sizes of 40 for primary and 30 for secondary was withdrawn by the previous Secretary of State in circular No. 16/69, and no new targets were set in terms of class sizes because it was thought better at that time—and I still think it is better—to have a judgment in terms of pupil teacher ratio.

I come now to the motion, which is about three things: the change in training college places between 1971 and 1981, the intake of students to training places in 1974, and the teaching force needed to meet the educational needs of the next decade. That is the order in which the points are put, but, of course, they are back to front. One begins with educational needs for the next decade, one moves on to the size of the teaching force and the training plant required to meet those needs, and one then makes plans accordingly.

I shall begin, therefore, with the educational needs of the country as they were set out in the framework for expansion in the White Paper last December. So far as they relate to the supply of teachers, they were threefold. First, we set out to improve the school staffing standard. Second, we set out to provide the qualified teachers needed for a planned expansion of nursery education. Third, we set out to provide the extra teachers needed to allow for the proper induction of new teachers and to allow for improved in-service training.

For all the hon. Gentleman's talk and that of his predecessors, they were not able to achieve either of those last two aims. They are good talkers, but when it comes to performance they cut, as we know only too well.

I admit that this is an ambitious programme. It is ambitious in two quite different ways. It is ambitious, first, because no previous Government have committed themselves to school staffing objectives 10 years ahead. It is ambitious, secondly, because we were not content to specify better staffing in the schools. we went on to set ourselves two new policy targets, which Labour Members had often talked about but had failed to find the resources to provide. We thought it was time to stop talking about giving children an earlier start and giving their teachers a better professional preparation, and to get on and do these things.

The conclusion that we came to was that for these three purposes we should plan to bring about, in addition to the expansion already achieved, a further massive increase of over 140,000 teachers in service by 1981. This is something not to be regretted but to be firmly welcomed as an important new stage in school staffing policy. The hon. Member for Sparkbrook said that I had not given the full arithmetic of this policy. I shall now go into a very difficult part of my speech and give a good many statistics, which will not necessarily provide the best hearing material but will, I hope, make good reading.

I shall give the very simple arithmetic of the policy, expressing it in terms of full-time teachers. First, to preserve the school staffing standards of 1971 for the numbers and ages of pupils in the schools by 1981, we must make provision to increase the teaching force by about 60,000 to 422,000 teachers. Secondly, to add 10 per cent. more teachers to ensure an improvement in standards we need another 42,000 teachers. Thirdly, to provide two adults for every 13 nursery children, of whom one would be a qualified teacher, we shall need another 27,000 teachers. Fourthly, to replace the teachers on induction or in-service training we shall need another 22,000. That gives a total of 513,000, which we rounded in the White Paper to 510,000. Later school population projections suggest a figure of 509,000—which the hon. Member for Sparkbrook mentioned, so I expect he has seen the paper which has gone out—for which the appropriate rounded figures continues to be 510,000.

A teaching force of this size will mean attaining standards and achieving reforms which would have seemed visionary only a few years ago when teacher supply was still at the mercy of sharply rising pupil numbers and a particularly heavy loss of young women teachers who left to start families of their own. We are therefore committed to providing over 140,000 additional teachers for the maintained schools by 1981. This increase in 10 years will be greater than the increase in the teaching force over the previous 20 years.

Let me spell out the implications in terms of pupil-teacher ratios. The movement of the ratios is a striking indicator of the progress already made and the greater progress now planned for the future. In 1950 the ratio was 27.1 pupils per teacher, falling by 0.3 to 26.8 in 1955; by 1.7 to 25.1 in 1960, a good period for improvement; by 1.6 to 23.5 in 1965, also a good period for improvement; and by 0.8 to 22.7 in 1970. On present projections, and subject to all the obvious uncertainties of forecasting, the subsequent landmarks on the way to the White Paper target for 1981 will be 20.7 in 1975, an improvement of 2.0, the best improvement yet, even though it covers the raising of the school leaving age, and a further 2.0 to 18.7 in 1980. Our plans therefore constitute the biggest improvement in teacher/pupil ratios yet.

Moreover, within this progression there has been qualitative as well as numerical improvement—through the increased recruitment of graduates, the introduction of three-year training in the colleges, and the phasing out of unqualified teachers. This qualitative improvement too will continue at what we hope will be an accelerating pace. These further improvements will be to the direct and immediate benefit of the pupils, in terms both of smaller classes and a wider range of choices. I know the importance which teachers and parents alike attach to class sizes. There is at present little convincing evidence one way or the other about the effect on educational attainments of class size, but I agree with most informed educational opinion that a further reduction in average class sizes is desirable.

The House will appreciate that these improvements have been brought about despite an increase in the school population in the maintained schools from about 5½ million in 1950 to over 8 million in 1970. To improve the pupil/teacher ratio for such greatly increased school rolls has meant a massive investment of resources in the training system, in calls on the nation's highly educated manpower, and in the bill for teachers' salaries.

Of course, we could have named a higher figure. The hon. Member for Sparkbrook makes about a promise a day, and we have come to expect that. But I notice that, for all that is said in the Opposition motion, neither it nor the Labour Party policy statement has named a larger figure.

Teachers' pay amounts to 70 per cent. of the cost of running the schools. We cannot act as if there were no other demands on the local education service, as though the local authorities had unlimited funds from which to pay for a teaching force of unlimited size. The hon. Member is not slow to press for more improvements in school building, in school equipment and books and needs for special schools, let alone express the demand for higher education and now more adult education. The figures I have given for teacher supply are part of a balanced programme of expansion in almost every sphere and, unlike the hon. Gentleman's figures, they have been specifically defined and costed.

Our policy is to increase further the supply of teachers, and in that process to improve staffing standards, develop nursery education and enhance the professionalism and so the status and prestige of the teachers, which I agree matter tremendously. We have preferred the course of realism. The important thing for us now is to move steadily towards our declared target of 510,000 teachers by 1981, regulating our progress as necessary from year to year.

I turn therefore to consider how many teachers we need to recruit to reach the target of 510,000. There are two sides to the calculation: first, how many and of what kinds will be leaving—we have to provide for their replacement; and secondly, how many and of what kinds need to come in. Let me deal with those who will be leaving the profession—the wastage. This is a big factor in teacher supply, extremely complex and notoriously unpredictable. The rates of wastage vary between teachers of different kinds. They vary between trained and untrained graduates, between bachelors of education and non-graduates, and between men and women in each of these categories, and within each sub-category they vary again according to the age group of the teachers.

Total wastage therefore depends upon the mix and age structure of the teaching force, and it involves complex calculations. There is no reliable basis upon which to predict changes in the specific wastage rates for each age in each category. The White Paper therefore played safe by assuming that wastage rates would remain constant, although recent evidence all suggested a downward trend. We did not carry on that downward trend. We estimate that wastage will remain constant. Allowing for wastage and other factors, we estimate that we would need to work towards some 47,000 recruits from all sources in 1980–81 to achieve our target of a net increase of over 140,000 by 1981. This compares with a total recruitment of about 57,000 in 1973–74.

There are three main sources of recruitment to consider. The first group is the three- and four-year trained teachers from the colleges, the second is the one-year trained graduates, and the third is the re-entrants. I will deal with the last group first, the re-entrants.

There is a large and growing reserve of qualified teachers, mainly women, not at present teaching but who are potential re-entrants at any time. There are probably 250,000 already and there could be 500,000 by the end of the decade. If wastage rates are uncertain, we can look to the recruitment of teachers from this reserve to provide the necessary flexibility. In 1971, for example, local authorities recruited some 14,000 and there is no doubt that the number could rise substantially.

It would be unreasonable to assume no further increase and it would be unwise to assume too much. For the present, we have taken a modest figure of 16,000 recruits from this source in 1980–81, compared with 14,000 now, an increase which takes into account the fact that the pool will double in size from 250,000 to 500,000. We have taken the figure of 2,000 believing that it could be increased if wastage turned once more against us.

I want to deal now with the new recruits who will constitute the remaining 31,000 or so, coming from post-graduates and three- and four-year training. Bearing in mind that recent surveys have shown that head teachers are calling for more graduate teachers in both primary and secondary schools, we have judged that we should plan for some 16.000 recruits from three- and four-year training and 14,000 from post-graduate training, with about 1.000 from various other sources. On this basis, the proportion of one-year trained graduates in the whole teaching force would increase from about 14 per cent. to about 21 per cent.—a substantial increase—between 1971 and 1981. This is part of the qualitative improvement in the teaching force.

To secure the 14,000 recruits from postgraduate training, after allowing for wastage during and at the end of training, would require the number entering postgraduate training—because there is some wastage—to rise to some 19,000 in 1980 compared with 11,000 in 1972. This is compatible with the general expansion of higher education which the White Paper promised.

To achieve the 16.000 entry to teaching from three- and four-year courses in the colleges of education, after allowing for wastage during and at the end of training and for the time lag between entry to training and entry to teaching, means admitting some 18,000 to such training at the end of the decade. This is a substantial drop from the 1973 figure of 36,000. It is for this reason that the number of initial training places in the colleges of education will need to fall to between 60,000 and 70,000 in 1981.

The route by which the policy target of 510,000 is to be attained is not yet firm but depends on a number of factors. Some of these, like wastage, are very difficult to predict, and the development of the policy must be flexible enough to accommodate changing trends in either direction. Others, like the balance between different sources of recruitment—the number of graduates, three-year trained teachers and four-year trained teachers—are matters of judgment, and a great variety of judgments is possible.

The route mapped out as a planning basis in the White Paper is an attempt to strike a reasonable balance. The eventual choice will be made by the partners in the education service—the local education authorities and the various branches of the teaching profession.

To advise me on these matters I have established, as foreshadowed in the White Paper, the Advisory Committee on the Supply and Training of Teachers. Professor Armitage, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester, is to be chairman. As the hon. Gentleman said, the committee will be meeting shortly. I have been asked why in this case I have not waited for the new committee's advice before giving guidance to the area training organisations on the intake of students to training places in 1974.

The reduction from 36,000 to 32,000 in the intake is, of course, a first step towards the figure of 18,000 at the end of the decade. Although the detailed inflows and outflows in 1981 are at this stage a matter of judgment, on any reckoning it is clear that a substantial adjustment in the teacher training rôle of the colleges will be needed, and in fact the colleges are to have new rôles as the teacher training rôle is reduced.

It is necessary to move without delay in the right direction, bearing in mind that the results of any action taken now will not show in teacher supply before the school year 1977–78. That is the length of time at which we have to operate. The reduction I have announced will be large enough to minimise the severity of the rundown in later years but not so large as to prejudice decisions about the future of individual colleges. The colleges needed to know the level of their 1974 recruitment quickly. They needed to get their brochures and their details ready to send out to the schools in readiness for next term.

The subsequent scale and timing of the rundown will depend on further studies and later information and advice. As we move into this important new phase in school staffing standards, we can be much more concerned now about what kinds of teachers offering what subjects and what skills and specialities will best meet the needs of the schools.

An increase in the quantity of teachers and potential teachers available can shift the emphasis to quality. We can be much more selective at the point of entry to the profession and subsequently much more concerned with the questions of teacher deployment in the schools.

I sum up what our policy offers. It means greater advances in the staffing of schools in the next 10 years than in any previous 10 years. The colleges' reduced rôle in teacher training will be complemented by their widening rôle in the higher education programme. All these developments have been planned and costed. Moreover, they have been fitted into a balanced programme of advance on a number of fronts, from nursery provision to higher education. It is, therefore, with confidence that I ask the House to approve the programme and adopt the Government's amendment.

8.7 p.m.

Mr. Frank Hatton (Manchester, Exchange)

I ask the indulgence and tolerance of the House in making my first speech in this assembly.

My predecessor, Will Griffiths, was a close personal friend of mine whose passing I greatly mourn. Mr. Griffiths had a great personal affection for his native city. He was born and educated within his constituency, and he had an intimate knowledge of its people and their problems, which he made his particular concern. His greatest interest was in the National Health Service. The great group of Manchester hospitals were within his constituency and he made it his own particular concern to be ever vigilant in promoting their interests.

During his period of service to his constituents of the Exchange Division of Manchester, Will Griffiths rejoiced in the sweeping away of thousands of unfit houses because he knew very well of their ill effect on the health of his constituents. During recent years the old residential parts of the constituency have been almost totally rebuilt. I believe that the task of rebuilding the inner areas of our old cities and towns is one of the most difficult problems of our time. To achieve satisfaction for everyone and to prevent any human unhappiness would seem to me at times to be almost impossible.

Recently some publicity has been given to the problems that arise in new developments. I want to put this into perspective. I know of the misery and heartache caused to families which for generations have lived in almost total decay. My interest has been in Manchester's education service. I rejoice, as did Will Griffiths, that the children in my constituency attend schools very different from those which existed when Mr. Griffiths first entered this House.

I rejoice, as I know Will Griffiths would rejoice, that the children of my constituency now have the opportunity of entering a secondary school with unlimited opportunities. When Mr. Griffiths first entered this House, by and large the children entered the old secondary modern schools that gave them no entry to any form of higher education. Very few entered the city grammar schools, none at all entered the city's direct grant schools. Today the situation is different. Children have the opportunity of entering the city's high schools, and there the opportunity exists for them to make the fullest use of their talents.

Almost all of our primary schools have been rebuilt in recent years. The standard of existing nursery provision in my constituency is such that it equals the standard which the Secretary of State is urging upon other authorities. I rejoice that from the allocation recently made by the Secretary of State another school is to be built within the constituency. Already the city can proudly boast the Cheetham-Crumpsall school, a major new development in educational planning—a community school in which library facilities and sporting facilities such as swimming baths are available for public use as well as the use of the school. These facilities will be repeated in the new development in the Beswick area of Manchester. There is tremendous importance in the type of building in which our boys and girls are educated. I am more than ever convinced of the importance of teachers and equipment and I hope that we are entering a phase in which we can see a new surge forward in this country with the emphasis moving away from buildings to that of teachers and equipment.

I hope that when the projections are made the difficulties of planning will be considered. I hope that those making the projections will get close to the schools because many of the shortages that exist today in the area of crafts, music, English and modern languages are not recognised.

Within my constituency is the famous Manchester educational precinct. I remember when the city decided in its wisdom to develop 60 acres of land for higher education. In the years that have passed, that area has increased to nearly 300 acres. In the Manchester colleges of education today there are more students than there were in Manchester University in pre-war days. We should make the fullest use of our educational capital equipment to exploit the opportunities in our colleges of education.

I have no statistics to quote. However, I have a burning faith in the ability of this country's teachers, given the opportunity in size and in numbers, to make a magnificent contribution to some of the current social problems. I thank the House for its courteous and tolerant hearing.

8.15 p.m.

Mr. Timothy Raison (Aylesbury)

I have not had the pleasure of following a maiden speech before, and I say at once that the House will have been impressed by the firm, modest, yet confident way in which the hon. Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. Hatton) addressed us, and by his manifest sincerity. His ramming home of the fact that teachers matter even more than buildings was a point which I am sure will be accepted by all hon. Members as being one of the most important messages in education.

I can understand why the hon. Gentleman was in something of a hurry to get on with his maiden speech as I understand that his constituency is to disappear in the as yet unknown future. I am sure that the House will agree that, having heard him once, it will want to hear him again.

Obviously I cannot claim any long and close acquaintanceship with Will Griffiths but I did know of his keen interest in health affairs. I served under the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short) on the Health Sub-Committee of the Expenditure Committee, of which Will Griffiths was a member. We all recognised that he was someone who cared very deeply and passionately about the National Health Service.

We had occasional disagreements on that sub-committee on one or two matters, as the hon. Lady will recollect, but there was no doubt that Will Griffiths was someone who stuck to his view with great passion and was also an agreeable person to work with. We know that the hon. Member for Exchange has a high reputation to live up to, and the signs are that he will certainly do so.

I will not enter into the statistical battle which has just taken place between my right hon. Friend and the hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley). It seems that once again my right hon. Friend has managed to rout the hon. Member. I will say that, although the hon. Member departs at the end of these debates with his tail between his legs, he comes back fighting. We give him credit for that. My right hon. Friend mounted what seemed to be a formidable argument, and I shall be surprised if any Labour Member is able to make a dent in what she said.

The hon. Member tried to draw a distinction between the excellent virtue of spending money on teachers and the folly of spending it on things such as Maplin and Concorde. I know that these are controversial schemes and that there are pros and cons. But what he said was symptomatic of something constantly undermining the Labour Party and its approach to these great matters. It is that hon. Members opposite cannot see that all sides of life are equally important.

It is no good having the most marvellous schools and colleges and so on if we say that we will not go ahead with any of the great schemes which may strengthen our economy and provide the opportunities for the people whom these schools and colleges turn out to exercise their talents. I do not believe that the hon. Member is really as committed to this view as he made out but I am sure that many Labour Members are committed to it by instinct. They will not recognise that in the modern world we need economic success just as much as we need excellent social provision.

I turn to deal more directly with the topic under debate. This is a discussion about resources. For the last two years or so we have seen a tremendous increase in public spending. I do not think any of us would deny that there were good reasons for it. The unemployment level acted as a trigger to greater public spending. I am delighted that this is beginning to blow over and that we are seeing a substantial fall in unemployment. But one cannot for ever live in the world where there are no serious checks on public expenditure. Inevitably, we have to apply some sort of test in terms of financial and human resources. We must be prepared to make comparisons. Of course we all want to spend unlimited amounts of money on education budgets. This applies particularly to those of us who have children. But we cannot go on for ever trying to pretend that there will not be severe constraints in the years to come. It does not make sense—except to the Opposition in their most euphoric and irresponsible mood—to discuss these matters without paying attention to resources.

What we must assess—and this is the spectre at the feast—is the effectiveness of increasing the supply of teachers. My right hon. Friend in her White Paper said Although there is no conclusive evidence yet on the educational effects of class size, the Government think it right to be guided by the judgment of experienced teachers and educationists that a further reduction in the average size of classes would be justified on both educational and social grounds. My right hon. Friend was right to say that, and I do not dispute it, but, equally, we cannot look at teacher supply or at class sizes and say "This is the magic ingredient in education. The more teachers we have the more dramatically gill our education results improve."

There is now a body of evidence which makes us think twice about this matter. I wish briefly to refer to one or two of the pieces of evidence which we have to face. The situation was well summarised in an article by Dr. Alan Little and two associates in New Society on 21st October 1971. The article was headed "Do small classes help a pupil?" That article picks out five different pieces of research which led to a surprising conclusion.

The first piece of research was carried out by Joyce Morris, who found that there was a tendency for the children in larger classes of top infants and juniors to have better reading attainments. She advanced possible explanations of that trend. I do not think anybody regarded her piece of research as of major importance in this respect because there were imponderables.

There was then an interesting piece of research undertaken by Professor Stephen Wiseman, in evidence presented to the Plowden Committee. I was a member of that committee, and I well remember the puzzlement with which we received that evidence. It said something that nobody expected. To summarise the point, which was a complicated exercise, the result was that the larger the class the better the reading ability.

Furthermore, the National Child Development Survey was carried out as a study of a complete cohort of children born in one week in 1958. The results may be summarised as followed. Even taking account of small size, length of schooling, parental interest and occupation, children in larger classes still had higher attainments.

The next piece of evidence was carried out by the Swedish researcher Marklund. He concluded that … a reduction in class size would not in itself lead to improved attainments …".

Some research was undertaken—and it is set out in the New Society article—by Dr. Little and his colleagues, which amounted to a literacy survey covering all the ILEA junior and junior infant schools. Again the findings were striking. There was an increase in reading attainment with an increase in class size.

The researchers discussed the results in that article and decided that reduction of class size, on the scale currently envisaged, may have little impact on reading. They then said Our main findings have been that little or no differences exist between the reading standards of children in relatively small classes, compared with those in larger ones, and even when social class, length of education, immigrant status and the educational priority status of the schools are controlled, little difference can be found. They sum up by saying, Reduction of class sizes on the scale currently envisaged … may not directly improve pupil performance, in so far as this has been measured by reading skills.… The magnitude of the differences found in the score of children coming from interested and stimulating homes against the scores of children from unstimulating and uninterested homes, surely suggest that the social and psychological factors are of greater immediate significance than the types of reductions in class size envisaged. I do not think anybody has been able to dismiss this research. When initially we had one piece of research and then another it was possible to say that there must be something a little odd about the explanation, but we were faced with repeated pieces of evidence to show that, contrary to all expectation, there was not a correlation between reduction in class size and rising standards.

What are the conclusions? They are not that we should aim at larger classes as an act of policy—and I would not for a moment argue that, any more than did Plowden. Plowden had this research before it, and said "Despite that research, we want to get class sizes down." Plowden was right to do so, and my right hon. Friend has shown that this is her policy, too. What the research illustrates is that class size alone is not the decisive factor and that there are other educational factors which are just as important.

Mr. Hugh Delargy (Thurrock)

I realise that the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) is in difficulty and is speaking at length because there is only one back bencher present in the Chamber on the Government side of the House—which shows that the Conservatives have not very much interest in this subject. However, the hon. Gentleman's speech seems to have only one argument: namely, that the fewer teachers there are the better the education provided. Is that really his argument?

Mr. Raison

I was not arguing that. I said specifically that I was not.

It is not completely out of place in a debate about teacher numbers to refer to a series of very important pieces of research on a crucial aspect of the subject. I know that the hon. Member for Thurrock (Mr. Delargy) wants me to sit down as soon as possible so that he can make a stiring speech. However, in a debate of this kind an hon. Member can- not be criticised for introducing a note of respect for the work done by academic researchers. [Interruption.] The hon. Member for Acton (Mr. Spearing) appears to be a little agitated. I have no doubt that he will have a chance to express his views later. In any event, the Opposition may be philistine and anti-intellectual, but I believe that hon. Members are entitled to raise these important points.

What are the other factors which matter? I believe that they fall into two classes. One category primarily concerns matters not affected by money. Nevertheless they are very important. They have to do with raising the professionalism of teachers. We have a very large number of high quality teachers. But I do not believe that teaching is yet a true profession. Taking the conventional yardsticks, at the moment it is a semi-profession. I believe that it should be one of our first aims to try to convert teaching into an out-and-out thorough-going profession. I hope that my right hon. Friend will be able to push ahead faster with this than she has done so far. There are certain matters concerned with the Teaching Council where we could bring about a dramatic change.

We should tackle the standing of teachers in a different frame of mind. Perhaps we do not ask enough of our teachers. For example, in my view we do not ask enough of headmasters, because of our peculiar system of tenure. However, that is a favourite hobby horse of mine, and perhaps I had better not become too deeply involved in it at the moment.

We want a greater commitment to the notion of straight academic quality, especially in our comprehensive schools. I have a considerable amount of time for comprehensive schools. But there is a risk in the comprehensive world that the out-and-out egalitarians gradually over the years will to an extent corrupt their teaching standards. Fortunately, most teachers have enough sense to resist this. But it is tempting to say that, because not all children are of academic standard, those who are do not matter and that what we need is some kind of contemporary pop culture. It would be a mistake to allow this mood to go further. However, I will not continue with that, because it may be outside the scope of this debate.

We have to recognise that there are immense social problems affecting our society and our education system which demand an increasing share of national resources. The hon. Member for Spark-brook spoke about the difficulties which exist in secondary schools in the deprived areas. I am with the hon. Gentleman. He is right. But fundamentally they are not matters of teacher supply. I know that there is a shortage of teachers and a very high turnover. But it is not really the global supply problem which afflicts them. It is the difficult conditions in which they teach and possibly the fact that we have not found ways of making teaching in such schools sufficiently attractive. This is very important, and I should like to see more done to support teachers in these areas.

Going back to resources, I also believe that there are matters outside the education budget which may be capable of doing more for the quality of our education than factors coming directly within the education budget. I have in mind such matters as housing and the overall physical environment which in these areas may be the greatest problem that teachers have to face in their schools.

Government is about allocating resources between one Department and another. Looking back over the past 15 years we can say that the period between 1950 and the middle 1960s was when education was dominant in social policy. It was the subject to which most attention was given and where we had a high rate of expansion. That was right. It is arguable today that in terms of allocating both public and private resources housing needs most support, together with the concatenation of problems in twilight areas, inner cities, and so on. In some ways I believe that we shall do as much to improve the quality of our schooling by increasing the environmental budget as we shall by providing a larger number of teachers. We have to make choices, and the same applies to the social work services and to many other features of this sort where we desperately need more money and where we do not have a bottomless purse. We must make decisions. It is right that we should be pre- pared to say every now and then "Let's look at this a little more closely."

This is a worthwhile debate, in that it enables us to look at a very important area. It is right that we should have had once again the arguments between the two Front Benches on the figures. It is one that needs rehearsing, particularly as it is generally rehearsed with such satisfaction to our side. But however committed people are to increasing teacher supply—and the pressure should be kept up—I hope that they will not succumb to the belief that it is a kind of panacea, because there are many other things we want to spend money on as well.

8.35 p.m.

Mr. John Pardoe (Cornwall, North)

First, I declare an interest. Secondly, I congratulate the hon. Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. Hatton) on his maiden speech. He will understand me if I say that I suppose I welcome him with certain mixed feelings, though he would need a very tortuous mind to know just how mixed they are. I was once told by my right hon. Friend the Member for Devon, North (Mr. Thorpe) that the ideal constituency to choose was one in which one would spend one's summer holidays. Having spent a short while in the hon. Gentleman's constituency over the past couple of weeks, for diverse reasons, I must admit that I would not choose to spend my summer holiday there, but that is not a criticism of his constituency as such.

The hon. Gentleman spoke of the difficulties of urban redevelopment. He will pardon me if I say that I found some of the redevelopment there, as in all the cities I visit, unutterably depressing. But Manchester, Exchange has a new voice, and we look forward to hearing the hon. Gentleman on this and many other subjects in the future.

The hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) seemed extremely mixed up. I understood him to be arguing that we do do not really need all that many teachers and that small classes are not a very good thing. He produced the research with which we are all familiar, particularly that presented to the Plowden Committee, of which he was a member. If I had been a member of that committee, faced with the research of Professor Wiseman, I should have asked some very hard and tough questions about the conclusions he had reached.

Mr. Raison

I assure the hon. Gentleman that hard questions were asked about it. The curious thing about the whole area was the way in which we had first one bit of research and then another. The Wiseman research came fairly late on, and then there were successive pieces of research which, contrary to all expectations and common sense, produced the answer that I have described. There is an accumulation of evidence—not just one bit of maverick research but a solid body.

Mr. Pardoe

I have spent the greater part of my working life in market research, and I have long since discovered that, whenever the figures show anything interesting, one can bet one's bottom dollar they are wrong. I believe that that is true of the research we are discussing.

The hon. Gentleman's argument was extraordinary. He says that the Plowden Committee was presented with all that research but that he will discount it because he still believes that we need more teachers, and that it is a very good thing that the Government are going for more. It is a mixed-up argument. I believe that we must discount that research, because all of us who have been involved in education or education policy in any way know that the most essential factor in the whole of education is the interaction between the teacher and, preferably, a small group of pupils. That is what education is about. It is not about how many primary schools or how many secondary schools we build.

The Secretary of State made a very confident—I almost say strident—defence of her White Paper and her policy. She was right to point out that the present situation is inadequate and that to a large extent it is the fault of the Labour Government. But does she think that the present situation, put forward a few years, will be any more adequate then? After all, in the White Paper the Government take credit for the fact that only 2.5 per cent. of all primary school classes now number about 40. I do not believe that that is a very good standard. It is certainly not one that I wish to aim at.

The right hon. Lady said that it was an ambitious programme because no Gov- ernment had ever set a target for staffing 10 years ahead. It depends on what the target is before one can say whether it is ambitious. After all, it is not very ambitious to say that over the next 10 years I wish to climb a molehill, but that is what the White Paper is doing in relation to teacher recruitment.

What is the Government's target for the pupil/teacher ratio? The right hon. Lady told us what the Government hope to get to by 1980, but what is the Government's target for the size of classes? Will they tell us, without muddying the waters by referring always to the pupil/teacher ratio?

In my view, the number of teachers required to bring all classes in both secondary and primary schools to below 30 is the number for which we must be aiming. If we cannot do it by 1981, let us take it to 1985, but let us state, and unite in stating, what we see the essential target at which to aim. Even under the present situation there are many secondary school classes of more than 30.

I propose to put some questions to the right hon. Lady, because she has defended her case with a large number of statistics and has obviously considered some of the intricate questions involved. When we are considering how to increase the total number of teachers in schools, it is, as the right hon. Lady said, a complex question, and we have to consider a large array of factors.

How many of those who qualify join the profession? Is the figure going up, or is it going down? The right hon. Lady says that there is a downward trend in wastage. For how long has it been going down? I ask that because it has had its ups and downs even in recent years. How long do teachers stay in the profession, and how many leave after four or five years? That is particularly relevant to the problem of the wastage of female teachers.

What are the reasons for the downward trend of wastage? When that is considered in relation to male teachers, it must be related to the prospects in jobs which are seen as alternative jobs for those who are four or five years out—which is the crucial time—of training college. If one considers the state of the economy and compares salaries in those jobs which are seen as direct alternatives to the teaching profession, one realises that there is no great ground for optimism for the future.

Because of the way in which the economy has sagged over the last three years one can see why there was a temporary downward trend in wastage, but I should like to bet that that downward trend will continue during the present boom conditions. I think it unlikely that that will happen because, even under the Government's pay freeze, salaries are racing ahead in jobs which are direct alternatives to teaching for people four or five years out from college.

There are two factors to consider in the wastage of female teachers. First, there is the pressure to have a second income in the home, which is the old problem of recruitment of women back into industry of all sorts. The economic pressures here are great, for a variety of reasons and there is no reason to suppose that they will not stay as great as they are now.

Secondly, there is the factor which is similar to that for men, namely, the prospects in those jobs which are seen as alternatives. I shall not go through the list of jobs which are obvious alternatives to re-entering the teaching profession for a married woman. Clearly, a great factor is how much time a married woman can spend with her family and, therefore, how easily the alternative job fits into her married life.

One has only to look at the pages of The Times to see the enormous increases that have taken place in, for instance, top secretarial salaries. When one realises that there are organisations offering temporary secretarial posts—and very comfortable ones—at £1.15 per hour, one realises that it would be a brave man or women who would forecast that the downward trend in wastage among female teachers will increase. I guess that fewer women teachers will be coming back to teaching. In my view, the right hon. Lady's figure in the White Paper is optimistic.

The right hon. Lady based her case primarily on the fact that there are many other claims on resources. I am not going into the whole question of resources and the Government's budget, although there is obviously the argument whether education is to get more or housing is to get more of the resources, but this is not the time to debate that. Within the totality of the education budget the right hon. Lady, of course, has to make her priorities, and today, as indeed on other occasions, she has said that she believes she is giving adequate priority to teacher recruitment vis-à-vis the rest of the education budget. I do not happen to believe that this is so. I believe that teacher recruitment is of enormous importance and could be greater, and is certainly far more important than sheer statistics make out.

It really is time, is it not, that we started to consider teacher recruitment in terms of quality? How one assesses the quality of teachers, how one assesses whether it is going up or down, is as difficult as assessing the productivity of teachers, but the Government and all those interested in education have to make some attempt at it. It is a very difficult thing for anybody to say, but I would guess that the rewards for teaching, which are not very high vis-à-vis the alternative occupations, must inevitably mean that, unless we increase the rewards very substantially, teacher quality in the future will decline.

Mr. Raison

I wonder whether the hon. Member can say whether the small percentage of teachers who would not go to college, because one is not expanding the programme as fast as the Opposition claim they would expand it, would be likely to be teachers of the higher or the lower quality?

Mrs. Renée Short (Wolverhampton, North-East)

On a point of order. The hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) took 20 minutes of the time of this House in what is a very short debate. It is not for me to tell you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, how to run the business of the House—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."]—and I am not proposing to do that, but it would be helpful if—

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. E. L. Mallalieu)

Order. The hon. Lady knows full well that that is not a point of order.

Mr. Pardoe

I certainly do not wish to take up any more time. I was just drawing my remarks to an end, and I should have finished had I not been interrupted by the hon. Member for Aylesbury, but he has raised a point which I can quickly deal with. I do not think it is possible to say that those who are on the margin, those who would not go to teacher training colleges or other places because of the current rewards, would necessarily make bad teachers. There are, I am quite convinced, outside the teaching profession a large number of people who would make excellent teachers, and the important thing is to get them in. Therefore, I do not accept the argument behind the hon. Member's question.

I would say to the right hon. Lady, finally, that all the figures she has given us this evening to back up her case look, in the way she presented them, effective from the Government's point of view, but I would remind her that on teacher recruitment and teacher wastage every Government have always got it wrong because we have tried to forecast the unforecastable. I would simply remind her—although it was not particularly her Department which did it nevertheless, it has responsibility in education—that in the latest case of forecasting matters relating to teachers, the forecast of the amount required by the teachers' superannuation fund to ensure the whole question of the rate of contribution of future entrants has proved catastrophically wrong, as the Government Actuary's report has shown. It has proved wrong partly because the figures relating to teacher recruitment have had to be changed in the light of experience. I only emphasise that it is a great pity that the right hon. Lady does not now admit that she got it wrong the first time and that she does not reduce the teacher's contribution from 6.75 per cent. to 6 per cent., which would materially improve the financial rewards for entering the profession.

8.50 p.m.

Mr. A. P. Costain (Folkestone and Hythe)

Since this is a short debate, I will make a short speech, in the hope that I will have the indulgence of the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short).

I agree with what the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe) said about the quality of teachers. It is just as important as quantity. In the last generation the squire, the schoolmaster and the parson were the three great people of the village. There is a great difference today in the teacher's prestige.

Too little account is taken in the House of the difference between the teacher of the village and the teacher of the town. My hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) made an interesting and comprehensive speech on this. Recruitment of teachers and the maintenance of their position depend on prestige. We do not pretend that teachers' pay can compete with that of temporary secretaries. My hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury said that teaching was a profession. It is much more a vocation. The Minister should consider whether we are doing enough to improve the amenities available to schoolteachers.

A schoolmaster in my constituency who lives in a village is anxious to maintain his home there. He put up for planning permission to build a house in the village and it was turned down by the local authority as unnecessary. Had he been a cowman, the Minister of Agriculture would have supported his application. In a matter of planning permission, the village schoolmaster is not as important as the cowman, it seems.

Mr. Pardoeindicated assent

Mr. Costain

I have the support for once of the Liberal Party.

Could not my right hon. Friend's Department give priority to housing these essential people who carry out the services of her Department? The man I am speaking of was interested not in salary but in living in the village community and getting to know the parents and the children in their homes. He had no priority for planning permission to build a house in the old school grounds, despite the fact that both the village and the school favoured the idea. It cannot be right that a person with a vocation is not given priority.

The housing situation for teachers is the same throughout the country. We cannot expect people to have a vocation without being given the facilities to carry it out. This is done for the manses of parsons, for instance, and it should be done for the teaching profession.

An uncle of mine who was headmaster of a well-known public school complained that he had to retire at 65. Should the retirement age for headmasters be the same as for other people? With the present shortage of teachers, should not the retirement question be given greater consideration?

The hon. Member for Wolverhampton, North-East seems to be getting restless. I am sure that she has a contribution to make, so I will end by asking my right hon. Friend to give special consideration to this aspect of teachers' welfare.

8.55 p.m.

Mr. Terry Davis (Bromsgrove)

I will not follow the hon. Member for Folkestone and Hythe (Mr. Costain) in his description of his relative's problems. I recognise that teachers have a problem in finding accommodation. I know that teachers coming to my constituency have great difficulty in being able to afford to buy a house. Redditch Development Corporation is willing to provide houses to rent at Redditch in my constituency for teachers willing to teach there. Houses can be provided but that is not much use if a town cannot get the teachers.

Apart from a general objection to the Secretary of State's policy of reducing the number of people who will enter the teaching profession, I have a specific objection. The right hon. Lady's decision to cut the September intake into colleges of education by 10 per cent. is totally arbitrary. It affects bad areas and better areas equally. It makes no distinction between areas which have the worst pupil/teacher ratios and those which have the best.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) said that there were regional variations in the national ratio of pupils to teachers, but he will recognise that there are also variations within regions. I was interested to discover in looking at the statistics that one of the worst ratios in the country is that of my own county of Worcestershire. The figures for 1972 show that the national ratio of pupils to teachers in primary schools was 25.9:1, but in Worcestershire it was 27.9:1. The county ranked fifty-sixth out of 58 counties in England and Wales.

Again, the national ratio of pupils to teachers in secondary schools was 17.7:1, but in Worcestershire there is no compensation for the fact that we have one of the worst primary school ratios. On the contrary, we have the worst ratio for secondary schools, at 19.1: 1. Worcestershire is the worst county in the whole of England and Wales.

It is true that between 1971 and 1972 under the present Government there was an improvement, but the improvement in Worcestershire was less than that in the national average, so our county was falling behind in comparison with the rest of the country. As my right hon. Friend said, these figures are averages, and it is also true that the ratios within counties tend to be worse in urban, suburban and semi-urban areas than in rural areas, the reason being, as will be understood by hon. Members, that rural schools are so much smaller.

The Secretary of State said that the yardstick of class sizes was abandoned four years ago in favour in pupil/teacher ratio, but class size is what parents can see. It is the size of the class for their own children that matters to parents. My 9-year-old daughter sits in a class of 34, and my 7-year-old son is even more disadvantaged in that he is in a class of 40. These are not exceptional conditions: these are typical classes in Worcestershire.

As I listened to the right hon. Lady's recital of statistics it seemed to me that she had not asked the basic question. She has not taken the basic decision. At no time did she tell us what the size of class should be or what the ratio of pupils to teachers should be. She produced a lot of statistics for the past and some estimates for the future, but she did not tell us what her aim should be. She did not tell us what is the right size of class or the right or best ratio of pupils to teachers.

I feel that the right hon. Lady missed the whole point of the debate The difference between the Government and the Opposition is that her standards are not high enough. She is satisfied with a national average of 18.7: 1 in 1980, but we are not satisfied. The most important statistic was completely omitted from the right hon. Lady's catalogue of statistics. She told us what the ratio was in 1950, 1955, 1960, 1965 and 1970, and she told us what the ratio will be in 1975 and 1980, but I did not hear her tell us what the ratio would have been in 1980 is she had not taken the decision to reduce the intake of people who go into colleges of education with the intention of becoming teachers. That is the most important statistic of all.

My hon. Friends are being somewhat unfair to the Secretary of State, however, because she is not the only person who is satisfied with this trend and with her figures. I am sorry to say that some local education authorities are satisfied with this situation. Worcestershire County Council is among them. Only recently Worcestershire County Council has stopped, with effect from next September, a special scheme which has operated in Worcestershire to provide grants for mature students who would like to become teachers but lack the qualifications to enter colleges of education.

I referred earlier to the situation in Redditch. This is particularly appropriate because it was at the Redditch College of Further Education that we had a special course, running since 1965, for mature students. These are mainly married women who wish to become teachers but lack the qualifications. During the last few years 75 students received grants from the county council, and, of those 75, over 50 have become teachers or are at colleges of education or universities with the intention of becoming teachers eventually.

Now the Worcestershire County Council has suddenly stopped any awards for mature students who would like to become teachers but lack the 0-levels or other qualifications.

If a married woman decides to become a teacher in Redditch and goes to Red-ditch College of Further Education, when she is qualified she will not move to another part of the country. She will stay in Redditch to teach, in a developing and expanding town which needs new teachers.

These married women will not have housing problems—any more than they have at present. The additional income might help them to afford the high rents of the development corporation houses or help them to buy their own homes. But they are being thwarted in their desire to serve the community by becoming teachers as a direct result of the county council's decision last October.

Although I condemn the Secretary of State's decision, I also condemn the local education authority of Worcestershire.

9.2 p.m.

Miss Janet Fookes (Merton and Morden)

The greatest tribute which can be paid to the Government's plans for teacher supply was unwittingly paid by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Spark-brook (Mr. Hattersley). I thought he showed a conspicuous lack of moral fervour and indignation when moving the Opposition motion. I suspect that in his heart of heart he knows that his case is rather weak.

We have heard from the hon. Member for Sparkbrook and other hon. Members of the Opposition about their dissatisfaction with the standards which the Government have set themselves in the period to 1981. But when hon. Members speak in that way I recall the period when they were in office. It was then that we had an opportunity to see what their achievements were. We heard from the hon. Gentleman that in 1965, and again in 1968, they talked about the standards of teacher supply that they wanted for 1981. It is interesting to note, however, that in the figures given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State about the improvement in pupil/teacher ratios over the five-yearly periods it so happened that the least improvement coincided with the period of the Labour Government. That is the measure for me. Words are all very well, but we want to see action.

Mr. Ernest G. Perry (Battersea, South)

Is the hon. Lady aware that during the period of the Labour Government, for the first time in our history, we expanded teacher training colleges to an extent never previously known, and that we spent more on education, for the first time, than on defence?

Miss Fookes

I also seem to recall that that was the period when school building was cut back and when the raising of the school leaving age was postponed. That had been brought in by a Conservative Minister and postponed by a Labour Government. Again, there was a contrast between action and words.

I welcome my right hon. Friend's strategy. It is realistic and it makes worthwhile improvements in teacher supply. I am particularly happy about the teachers who are to be set aside for nursery education. That is something which I have long advocated. That will be one of the real improvements in our education system in recent years.

I am also happy that provision is being made for the in-service training of teachers during the induction year. We probably lose more teachers because of an unpleasant probationary year of teaching than through any other cause. It can be a horrible and frightening experience to be thrown in at the deep end. Any way in which we can help teachers during the time when they are at their most vulnerable is worth while.

I am glad that my right hon. Friend has been cautious and has not taken the downward trend of wastage as the norm in her calculations. Because of the unpredictability which has already been mentioned, my right hon. Friend has adopted a sound and sensible course. I think that she may be erring a little too much on the side of pessimism but I do not quarrel with that.

I suspect that the increasing trend, which is observable in all walks of life, for women to return to full-time or part-time work after a period away when they have their families and when their families are small will mean in future years that there will be a far greater number of women returning to teaching. I notice that my right hon. Friend has made allowance for only a small increase of approximately 2,000 over the present return rate.

By restricting recruitment to some extent we shall have people going into teaching who are keen to teach and will be less likely to drop out either during training or afterwards than is the case at present. That slight restriction will have a positive merit. One of the matters which concern many of those who are interested in education is that the expansion of the teacher force over the last decade or more has meant that more attention has been paid to quantity than quality. I am glad to see that my right hon. Friend is seeking in all manner of ways to pay more attention to quality.

The initial requirements for people going into training should be raised and far more attention should be given to their training and the weeding out of those who prove to be unsuitable. I can recall a college of education lecturer some time ago saying to me privately that when she was a lecturer—she had just retired—she had hardly dared to fail anybody, however unsuitable he was, because of the immense impetus of getting more teachers into the school somehow. It is wise that we should be turning our attention to the quality of entrants and how they are trained. I hope that my right hon. Friend will give more and more attention to that aspect.

I believe that the Government's targets are reasonable and sensible. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will be flexible in making any alternations which prove to be necessary as time goes by.

9.9 p.m.

Mr. Caerwyn E. Roderick (Brecon and Radnor)

In the 1950s the British Medical Association made a forecast of the future needs of doctors in Britain. That forecast was proved so wrong that we are still suffering from it. We have returned to that position with teacher supply. I think that the Secretary of State will be so wrong that we shall suffer for the next 20 years as a result of her follies.

We cannot afford such a mistake. The right hon. Lady has suggested that she will be flexible and that she can make adjustments. I suggest that some of the guesswork to which we have been listening will not be readily remedied. Once we cut down on the number of students going to colleges of education and the staffs in those colleges it will take some years to remedy the situation.

I take issue with the right hon. Lady and with some hon. Members who have been using the tables of pupil/teacher ratios. The right hon. Lady contradicted herself when she suggested that it was due to the Labour Government that the figures were low in the mid-1960s. Those figures had been planned for in the period of a Conservative Government. The pickup occurred when the Labour Government policy started to take effect, and at a time when we were introducing the three-year degree and students were staying on longer at colleges of education.

I am sorry that the right hon. Lady did not suggest that we ought to abandon the concept of class sizes of 40 by the 1980s. I have children who have gone through primary school in class sizes of 40. I admit that this was during the period of the Labour Government, but the right hon. Lady has no better target for the 1980s than to abandon such a concept—

Mrs. Thatcher

The problem is this. There can be extra teachers—large numbers of them—going into the schools, but it does not show in a reduction of class size. I have no control over how headmasters deploy their teachers. I have an illustration in front of me. Over a period of four years the pupil/teacher ratio fell, which means there were more teachers in the schools compared with the numbers of pupils, but this did not show in the size of teaching groups. The head teachers in this case decided to deploy the teachers among remedial pupils, counselling and so on.

Mr. Roderick

I would not disagree with what the Secretary of State says, that we need so much more resources to deal with remedial education and matters like that. Nevertheless, if classes over 40 have remained it is still to be deplored because we cannot have proper education in classes of that size. How can a teacher teach children to read when she has 40 children under her control?

Mrs. Thatcher

I agree.

Mr. Roderick

The right hon. Lady must agree. We must deal adequately with remedial work in the schools and reduce the numbers in the classes. Even though she has only indirect control, she has control of teachers overall. She admits it in the White Paper. She will have to have a massive increase in numbers if she is to have any effect whatsoever on this problem.

I should like to refer to that little bit of nonsense in paragraph 49 of the White Paper, and I should like to ask who takes the decisions which are about to be carried out. Are they people whose children and who themselves went through the State machine or did they go through the independent school schemes? Are they people who live in the poorer areas and suffered the worst educational facilities? I suggest that they have had the advantages of schooling in the better areas.

Paragraph 49 of the White Paper states: The pupil:teacher ratio is now in more common use and provides a simpler and more reliable indicator of current standards and a better index of progress in improving them. But it does not allow for changes in the age distribution of the school population. For example, an increase, within a given total school population, in the proportion of older pupils with their more favourable staffing ratio would necessitate an improvement in the overall ratio merely to retain the same standards.

Have these trends not been with us over the past years? Have children not been staying longer and getting to the sixth forms? Have we not just been standing still? Under the policy enunciated in this White Paper we shall do nothing but stand still.

My accusation against the Secretary of State is that she is not trying to make progress. She is trying to stand still. With the spread of comprehensive education, I hope that pupils will stay on longer at school, thus requiring better staffing ratios. We cannot afford to suffer staff shortages in the schools. Does the Secretary of State really appreciate what it means for teachers, whose numbers are already short, to see their free periods whittled away when one of their number is away from school? We ought to make allowances for this sort of thing. This is what creates the disaffection among teachers. These things must be allowed for, but the right hon. Lady is not making adequate provision.

9.15 p.m.

Mr. Fergus Montgomery (Brierley Hill)

Every time I listen to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley), my heart sinks lower. If I had to write a report on him, I should say "Full of promise, but achieves little". Referring to the hon. Gentleman, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said that he seems to come out with a promise a day. All I can say is that if a promise a day keeps Roy away from the Department of Education and Science, there will be no tears shed on this side of the House.

Despite the criticisms which pour forth from the Opposition in every education debate, my right hon. Friend has done an excellent job as Secretary of State for Education and Science. What I find so difficult to understand is that, although Labour right hon. and hon. Members make all these criticisms now, in opposition, when they had the chance to do something for education they did very little. [Interruption.] I hear the hon.

Member for Acton (Mr. Spearing) make a muttered comment. If he spoke to anyone connected with education, particularly to Socialists connected with education, he would soon learn that they were deeply disappointed with the record of his party when in power.

The hon. Member for Battersea, South (Mr. Ernest G. Perry), in a burst of praise, told us that under a Labour Government this country had for the first time in its history spent more on education than on defence. It is true that they cut defence spending enormously—

Mrs. Renée Short

Not enough.

Mr. Montgomery

—so that it was not difficult to show that education was taking more of the gross national product than was defence. I gather that the hon. Lady the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short) thinks that they did not cut defence spending sufficiently. Nevertheless the cuts were made, and in such circumstances it is easy to show an increase in spending in one sector in comparison with another sector where a substantial cut has been made. There is no force in that argument, and the truth is that it is the present Conservative Government who are pushing forward with expansion in education.

It is not without significance that the figures for the reduction in class sizes given by my right hon. Friend—I return here to the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Merton and Morden (Miss Fookes)—show that the worst period of all was 1965–70. What this Government are planning to do is to have a teaching force by 1981 of about 510,000. In 1961 we had a teaching force of 276,000, so that that will be a substantial increase.

Moreover, the Government have made and are making substantial improvements in the education service, and these will require more teachers. We have an enormous expansion in nursery education, we have the raising of the school leaving age, which was neglected by the Labour Government, and we have an expansion of in-service training and improved induction arrangements for new teachers. All these will require extra teachers.

It is estimated that for those sectors we shall require additional numbers as follows: 110,000 extra teachers to deal with pupils over the age of five, an extra 25,000 to cope with the expansion in nursery education, and about an extra 20,000 for the expansion in in-service training.

Mr. Hattersley

The hon. Gentleman misunderstands his own Government's plans if he thinks that 20,000 teachers are needed, for example, to deal with in-service training. The 20,000 is all that the Government are prepared to allow in the equation. In fact, the demand for in-service training will make an infinitely greater call than that.

Mr. Montgomery

We recognise, of course, that the demand will be greater, but at least this is a start, a step in the right direction. It has been long overdue in the teaching profession. I wish that in the days when I began to teach I could have had some of the advantages which will accrue for new recruits to the profession today.

Mr. Ernest G. Perry

It was a Tory Government, no doubt.

Mr. Montgomery

No, when I began to teach it was a Labour Government, and a very bad one at that.

If my arithmetic is correct, we shall require about an extra 150,000 teachers over the 10 years from 1971 to 1981 to bring us to a teaching force of 510,000, and to achieve that increase will mean that approximately 15,000 new teachers should be coming into training each year. However, already in the first two years of this period there have been about 40,000 new teachers, which is far in excess of the planned rate of growth, and to have continued at that rate would have entailed a pre-empting of resources.

It is therefore important to underline that the Opposition tonight are trying to make a piece of cheap political capital. It is not that the Government are trying to cut back on the teaching force—far from it. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has shown that we are increasing the teaching force enormously. We are merely reducing the rate of increase in the force, and that is an entirely different matter. I hope, therefore, that the House will overwhelmingly reject the hypocritical motion moved by the Opposition.

9.21 p.m.

Mr. Barry Jones (Flint, East)

I always wonder why the hon. Member for Brierley Hill (Mr. Montgomery) should be on the Conservative Benches, because he comes from the North-East of England and was a teacher.

The Secretary of State made disparaging remarks about her predecessor. She accused the Labour Government of talking and not acting. Perhaps I may give her one statistic which indicates that the Labour Government did act, and for the good of the teacher education service. I understand that in 1964 11,597 men entered training colleges and that by 1970 this had increased to 16,531. For women the figures were about 23,000 in 1964 increasing by 1970 to 36,824. Surely that is indicative of the Labour Government's success in acting and doing something about education. It is very much to their credit.

I can guarantee a brief speech always provided that there are no old Etonian and garrulous interventions. I am sorry, too, that there are no representatives from the Welsh Office on the Treasury Bench tonight. I hope that the Government have got their figures right. If the Secretary of State's crystal ball is faulty, thousands of youngsters will suffer, and, indirectly, so will our economy. There is a good case for saying that the quality and number of the nation's teaching force is as vital to the prosperity of the country as is the machine tool trade. I suspect that in planning for 510,000 teachers in 1981 the Government are being complacent and over-sanguine, because all the actuaries and statisticians have disgraced themselves in these last decades in their estimates of population growth in the same silly way, I suppose, as the recently defeated Liberal psephologist in the Manchester, Exchange by-election.

If the Government are being so bone-headed about this they should take out immediate insurance in the form of better salaries and conditions of service for teachers generally, better London allowances for teachers and the speeding up of modernisation and replacement of slum schools. If these requirements are not met, the alarming exodus from the classroom by young teachers in the big cities will accelerate into something like mass migration. Practical matters like these are never fully seized by Whitehall slide-rule and computer-mad experts.

On a wider sphere the Government need to pay more attention to house prices and their current reckless inflation than they do to clearing house reports. Teacher supply in the big cities is directly related to housing prospects for those teachers, and the Secretary of State should urge the LEAs to be more imaginative in their efforts to help young teachers find reasonably priced accommodation.

I know that the Government want to reduce pupil/teacher ratios, but it is deplorable that they will not make a policy target of a maximum class size of 30 pupils. This is tragic. In no way is it useful to quote today's pupil/teacher ratio of 22.6.

The truth is that the local education authorities fiddle this figure. With Whitehall's connivance they juggle and rearrange. I wish the Secretary of State would take charge of the policy and try to intervene more actively. Sadly, the kids most in need of help are often those who would benefit by the Government going pell-mell for a maximum class size of 30. The debate is about that issue. An overcrowded classroom is undoubtedly a brake on a child's intellectual and social development.

It would be better for the Government to over-estimate rather than underestimate the requirement of teachers. The great reports of Plowden and Newsom demonstrated that the overwhelming priority for working class children from deprived homes was for them to be treated as individuals in the classroom. If that is the case, I say that teachers should have manageable classes to be able to provide compensatory treatment for those children who often find good conditions only in the classroom. As my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) said, it is sad to compare what is available to youngsters in fee-paying schools with the miserable and often squalid lot of youngsters from the down-town areas of our big cities. It is unjust, a national disgrace.

The policy advocated by the Secretary of State will not guarantee a better deal for the working-class child. One of the conclusions that I draw is that we must persuade the bourgeoisie to throw in their lot with the workers in matters educational—that is, to abolish the private sector and to seek to accelerate the improvement of the State sector by sustained, organised and vocal pressure on Whitehall and the local education authorities.

9.23 p.m.

Mr. Nigel Spearing (Acton)

The one figure that the right hon. Lady did not use was the 40,000 places she is cutting out of the colleges of education. I am sorry she did not make that plain, because what she is doing means that the colleges will be disrupted, together with the morale of the teachers and of those who may well have their courses disrupted. All this will have its effect on the teaching profession.

The right hon. Lady said that we must put the needs of education first and then see how we could meet them. I agree that that is the right way to do it. We cannot spend all we would like, so we must seek a meaningful compromise. But when I said on 4th April that the demands for teachers and schools would be the same, irrespective of White Papers, the Under-Secretary of State could not deny it. His predecessor in May last year could not give me the projections of teacher supply after 1976, explaining: I cannot usefully make longer term projections until major issues which my right hon. Friend is now reviewing concerning the rate and direction of development of the educational system have been resolved. That was before the White Paper. In the previous paragraph, he had said: These projections will be revised in the light of latest information on these and other matters in preparation for the next Public Expenditure White Paper."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd May 1972; Vol. 837, c. 290.]

It is clear that the Secretary of State has not done what she said today must be done. She has not asked herself the question "What teachers do we need and how do we get them?" She has instead done what was hinted at in that reply of 22nd May 1972 and has asked "What is the minimum we can decently spend on colleges of education?".

I understand that the National Union of Teachers said that the number of teachers required by 1981 was not 510,000 but 584,000, or another 74,000 teachers. I am also told that its calculations show that this would mean that the pupil/teacher ratio would be 17:1. Can the Under-Secretary say whether he broadly agrees with those figures and, if so, what is wrong with the pupil/teacher ratio of 17:1?

My hon. Friend the Member for Bromsgrove (Mr. Terry Davis) was right when he said that the right hon. Lady had not given her figures for a reasonable balance between what the country can afford and what education demands. I challenge her to say that 17:1 is not a reasonable compromise. If we had left the colleges of education alone and she had not cut 40,000 places, we might have got to about that figure. That seems right, and that is why I support the motion.

9.30 p.m.

Mr. Roland Moyle (Lewisham, North)

We have had a good debate on the Labour side of the House. I thought that the speeches on the Tory side improved as the debate went on. I was particularly interested in the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Bromsgrove (Mr. Terry Davis) and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Flint, East (Mr. Barry Jones) because they drew attention to the difficulty of obtaining the right teachers in the right places as a result of the difficulties experienced by young teachers in affording houses in the areas in which they wished to work.

As a London Member I echo those sentiments with vigour, not only because I am a London Member but also because I am a parent of children going through the London education system. If that system breaks down as the result of failure to act on the part of the Secretary of State, I for one as a parent in the London area will make sure that she does not forget it in a hurry.

The House had the pleasant experience of listening to my hon. and newfound Friend the Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. Hatton). He is a new boy to us but in listening to his speech I think we all came to the conclusion that his was a voice which had been matured by long years of educational administrative experience. We realise that he has made a distinguished contribution to education in Manchester and we look forward to the distinguished contribution he will be making on the national stage. He will, I known, enrich our future debates on education.

The House has been debating the divergence of teacher supply. The Government are aiming to provide 510,000 teachers by 1981 and many of the Government's critics outside the House, including the National Union of Teachers, feel that 580,000 might be a more appropriate target. Mr. Morris of Manchester University, with a very minor alteration of some of the variables in the equation, thinks that 594,000 could in certain circumstances be a more appropriate target. In my experience, professions normally try to restrict entry to their ranks for the simple reason that this tends to provide a great deal of extra employment for their members and strengthens their hand in bargaining for salary improvements.

When a profession such as the teaching profession and an organisation such as the NUT argue that there ought to be a greater increase in the numbers entering the profession than that for which the right hon. Lady is making provision, we ought to take serious note. The Government seem determined to stick by the figure of 510,000 in the White Paper. The right hon. Lady gave us a great number of statistics in an attempt to convince us that she was aiming at the right target. Those statistics were not really of much help to people outside the House in trying to check her projections.

For example, the right hon. Lady said she was aiming to produce a figure of 14,000 graduate teachers by 1981. What people would like to know is not that the overall target includes 14,000 graduates but how the right hon. Lady plucks this figure out of the air and puts it into her calculations. On that matter the right hon. Lady gave us no explanation whatever.

Only last week the Government announced their reductions for colleges of education for September 1974. Instead of 36,000 entrants into the colleges, the figure has been cut to 32,000, a reduction of 11 per cent. That 11 per cent. is applicable only if the 36,000 figure proves to be correct. It may be that the colleges were aiming at a figure of nearly 38,000, in which case the cut would be even greater.

Even more interesting is the fact that the cuts which are to take effect in Sep- tember 1974 were announced on 23rd June. Then, on 4th July this year, the Advisory Committee on the Supply and Training of Teachers is to meet for the first time. The advisory committee will meet on that date with the major decisions of teacher projections having been taken in the White Paper and with the most immediate cuts having already been decided. Talk about taking one's harp to a party and not being asked to play: it simply does not come into the picture! My hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Exchange is twice blessed. He has been able to take part in this debate and he will be fortunate enough to be present for the meeting of the advisory committee on 4th July. He will certainly be able to ask why he had to bring his harp all the way from Manchester to that party, and he may ask what he should do with it. I wish I were there to see what happens.

While we are on the subject of colleges of education, I wish to remind the House that in the debate on 19th February I said that the colleges deserved well of the nation and therefore they are certainly worth one undertaking from the Government. Despite the cuts of at least 11 per cent. which are being imposed on the colleges in September 1974, I hope that the Government will undertake that there will be no redundancies among college staff for the academic year 1974–75. If there is a surplus, it can easily be used to plan the curricula in terms of the higher education diversification which they will be undertaking, to retrain their teachers and to plan for the future. We should like an undertaking to this effect from the Under-Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State has defended her forward projection—I emphasise that the word is in the singular rather than in the plural—with a vigour that is worthy of a better cause, but I believe that her figures will prove to be wrong. It is in the nature of forward projections of this sort about manpower requirements that they will be wrong. They are not designed to he right. They are designed to form a reference point as one moves forward. The right hon. Lady seems to have nailed her colours to the mast of 510,000.

Surely the most sensible thing for the right hon. Lady to do is to put forward her projections and then wait to see what happens in the future. The Government will probably be wrong about graduates from polytechnics and universities who want to become teachers. The Government will probably be wrong about wastage in the teaching profession. They will also probably be wrong about the numbers who require in-service training. Demand from the profession is likely to be much greater since many will wish to catch up on the lost opportunities of the past. How the Government can nail their figures to a mast of 510,000 when they have a diploma of higher education—a diploma which has not yet been agreed in firm terms—to fit into the machine, I do not know.

Then we come to the important question of how many married women will return to the teaching profession. Here again the Government are likely to be wrong. Indeed, the Govrenment themselves think that they will be wrong because, having in the December 1972 White Paper produced a figure in respect of married women who will return to teaching and having based their calculations on that figure, they then set up a study to find out how many married women are likely to return to teaching. It reminds me of what happened at a crucial stage in my career when I worked with a research officer who used to come to me and say "If you tell me the answer you want, I will provide the figures to prove it." For a time we worked successfully on that basis, butt I was never very happy with it. As the years went by and I came to this House, I have gradually come to see that the Department of Education and Science was being run on exactly the same basis.

There are a number of other problems in regard to married women who wish to return to teaching. One would expect the Government to hope for an increase in their numbers since they are cheap, in that they need no more training because they have already had their teaching training. New entrants to the profession must undergo the full three to four years' training before they are available. Therefore, by comparison the married women teachers are cheap.

Many of our young people in training at colleges and universities have a sense of vocation which leads them to go to teach in the city centres where social conditions are difficult. But married women re-entrants often still have a number of family commitments and tend to live in the suburbs. So their contribution to teaching comes in the suburbs where they live and not necessarily where they are most in demand.

Another point which has not been mentioned is that there will be a decline in the opportunities for young women in higher education. Only 40 per cent. of young women appropriately qualified go to universities compared with 60 per cent. of young men. The balance of young women go into the colleges of education. That is the route to higher education which has been selected for them. That is not a happy situation. As a nation we must move to a situation in which young women go into any form of higher education as easily as young men. But that will take time.

What will happen in the meantime is that the opportunities for higher education traditionally provided by colleges of education will be gradually whittled away by the right hon. Lady, so that there will be less opportunity for young women to enter higher education than they have been able to look forward to in the past.

It is in the nature of forward planning to be wrong. It is only a guideline. It is a different way of arguing a different philosophy from the one which might otherwise be expected. If we are wrong, with the British education system, whole groups of children will miss opportunities for ever because under our system there is no opportunity of readily turning back the clock.

Let us remember that a 1 per cent. reduction in the supply of teachers or a 1 per cent. error in the calculation may lead by the end of the decade to a plus or minus of approximately 5,000 teachers. It will be a very substantial number, given the tight ratios for which the right hon. Lady is aiming. The right hon. Lady is likely to say that she is entitled to aim for the middle point. But it is much easier to achieve a cutback if she finds that there are more teachers coming forward than it is possible to provide a stimulation to demand quickly if she finds that she is going too low.

A daring thought occurs to me. At the very worst, if the right hon. Lady finds a surplus of teachers she can improve the quality of the teaching service, of the teacher ratio and of the class size.

A great deal of experience on all these vague items in the equation about which the right hon. Lady talks—wastage, graduates from polytechnics and married women returners—is available in the education world from the National Union of Teachers, the Association of Headmasters, the Association of Education Committees and so on. The right hon. Lady should produce a variable range of projections and in close consultation with members of the profession, all the time adjusting her projections.

The only other way in which the right hon. Lady can make her projections right is by forcing teachers and children to conform to the machine that she is setting up. That is not the way to treat children or, for that matter, teachers. If the right hon. Lady adopts that line and sacrifices have to be made, it will not be the machine which makes them but it will be the teachers and the children. The Opposition know just where those sacrifices will be made. They will not be made in the lush pastures inhabited by the right hon. Lady and her right hon. and hon. Friends. They will be made in the decaying inner zones of our cities and in the socially deprived areas. It is for that reason that we shall divide the House.

9.45 p.m.

The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Norman St. John Stevas)

I must first congratulate the hon. Member for Manchester, Exchange (Mr. Hatton) on a most distinguished maiden speech, which was fully in accordance with the already very important contribution he has made to education. Like other hon. Members, I hope we shall hear him many times in the House. I only regret that the vagaries of the electoral law will compel him, unlike Charles II, to go on his travels again. I would merely say that 1649 was, after all, followed by 1660.

In replying briefly to the debate, I do not wish to make in the same detail the case for the Government which was deployed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. She did it with her customary lucidity and cogency, and completely answered the point we have heard from time to time that insufficient statistics have been made available by the Department. Her speech tonight, taken in conjunction with the document which has been issued to the advisory committee, gives a full statistical background to the Government's conclusions on teacher supply.

I wish to single out three of the themes which have dominated our short debate and have informed not only those arguments but Government policy as set out in the White Paper and elsewhere. They are the themes of expansion, quality and balance. All three are needed for a successful education programme; if any one is missing, the policy is vitiated from the start.

I shall deal with expansion first. There can be no argument but that we shall have a massive expansion in the number of teachers. The figure is beyond dispute: 140,000 more teachers by 1981.

Of course, the estimates must be subject to subsequent events. We shall have a big expansion, but every figure given in a projection over a period up to a year such as 1981 must, in the nature of things, be provisional. It must be subject to revisions upwards or downwards depending on events. But the estimates are very much more than the guesses which the hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) tried to dismiss them as. They are the best estimates on the information now available as to needs in the future. The increase of 140.000 is needed, first, to maintain and improve the staff/student ratio in our schools, and that it will do.

Perhaps the most significant statistic that emerged from the debate was that in the period 1965–70. which was roughly the period of responsibility of the Opposition, the teacher/student ratio fell by only 0.8 from 23.5 to 22.7, whereas in the White Paper plan—

Mr. Kenneth Marks (Manchester, Gorton)rose

Mr. St. John-Stevas

If the hon. Gentleman will let me finish my figures—

Mr. Marks

What about the number of children?

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Between 1970 and 1975 the teacher/pupil ratio will go down from 22.7 to 20.7. [Interruption] I have made it clear that these are provisional figures. From 1975 to 1980 the ratio will fall from 20.7 to 18.7. Those figures represent a rate of reduction nearly three times as great as that which was achieved by the previous Government. [Interruption.] Of course it is a forecast, because it refers to the future.

A number of hon. Members have suggested that the debate might have been more usefully conducted in terms of class size rather than aggregate numbers or the ratio of teachers to pupils but, as my right hon. Friend said, it was the right hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Mr. Edward Short) who withdrew the class size criterion in favour of the pupil/teacher ratio.

The reason is simply that it is no longer appropriate to define staffing standards in those terms when schools are, in practice, organising their work differently with team teaching and flexible teaching methods in which individual and small group work have a place as well as class teaching, and so on.

The hon. Member for Sparkbrook tried to cast doubts on the White Paper's estimate that the planned employment of 510,000 teachers in 1981 would reduce the pupil/teacher ratio to a lowest-ever figure of 18.5 to one. The hon. Gentleman would have made it 19.3 to one, apparently on the extraordinary ground that those teachers who would be benefiting from the new provision for teacher induction and in-service training should not count. Why should they not count? Does the hon. Gentleman take the view that a teacher does not count except when he is standing in front of a class? Does the hon. Gentleman wish to disparage that part of a teacher's time that is spent in his own further development and enrichment in his pupils' interests? As a quibble, that is thoroughly worthy of the hon. Gentleman.

The second point is the expansion of nursery education, one of the most important reforms in education this century, for which we shall need 27,000 more teachers. The third constituent of the figure is the 22,000 teachers who will be needed to implement the proposals for in-service training.

There have been expressions of concern about the colleges of education. The number of places for teacher training will be reduced, but the colleges will still play an extended rôle in our higher education system and discussions are proceeding on that basis now.

The second major theme of the debate has been quality. it has been commented on by my hon. Friend the Member for Merton and Morden (Miss Fookes) and by the hon. Member for Cornwall, North (Mr. Pardoe). We wish to improve the status of the profession—I agree on that one point with the hon. Member for Sparkbrook—but how does one do that? Does one do it by pious platitudes and the encomia which is all that the hon. Gentleman can offer, or does one do it by doing something for the training of teachers?

The profession will not be helped by producing thousands of teachers whom local education authorities cannot afford to employ. But it will be helped by improving the quality of teachers, by improving in-service training, by moving towards an all-graduate profession, and by putting into operation proposals for the Diploma of Higher Education and related degrees in education which will give us the most highly qualified teachers in the world.

The third theme of the debate is balance. It is easy to ignore other aims of the educational system in favour of whatever happens to be in the public eye for the moment. That is the policy that has consistently been followed by the hon. Member for Sparkbrook. My right hon. Friend and I and the Government who are responsible for that educational system cannot do that. We have carefully to weigh and cost the needs of the system, and it is that careful weighing and costing which characterises the White Paper and makes it largely a realistic policy declaration in contrast with the uncosted fantasies of the official Labour Party policy and the even more way-out Green Paper on policy for education.

Mr. Spearing


Mr. St. John-Stevas

I cannot give way. I have only a few minutes left in which to reply.

Whatever the costing proposals put forward by the Labour Party in the course of the debate, it has been extremely difficult to find out exactly what is the Opposition's policy on teacher supply because, apart from an irrelevant reference to the independent schools, where the Opposition are willing to wound but still afraid to strike, there has been no firm commitment by the Labour Party on its policy on teacher supply.

The hon. Member for Sparkbrook spoke about 54,000 more teachers, but we do not know whether that is a firm policy commitment. What we can do, however, is to set that proposal, vague as it is, against a background of wild promises and commitments that have been made. My hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) mildly referred to it as the resources problem, and it was given a rather more astringent reference by my hon. Friend the Member for Brierley Hill (Mr. Montgomery).

It is true that hardly a week has passed without our having had some new and costly proposal from the hon. Member for Sparkbrook. We have had two in the debate tonight. We have had one referring to the general number of teachers; we have had another referring to in-service training. In the debate on 15th May I gave some costings of the proposals for 1981 which had been put forward by the hon. Member and his colleagues. I estimated that they would cost £1,700 million over and above the expenditure we already project in the White Paper. Since then we have had a call for higher education to be made more expensive and for discretionary grants to be abolished. That would cost, I estimated last month, an extra £1,000 million. Possibly the proposals we have had put forward tonight would add several hundred millions of pounds to the education budget. The only item of extra expense which we have not yet had from the hon. Member for Spark-brook is compulsory grants for pre-retirement courses in adult education. No doubt we shall have that in due course.

If the hon. Member for Sparkbrook has got himself into such an exposed

position, it is because he has consistently ignored the dictum of a former great member of the Labour Party, Aneurin Bevan, who said that the language of priorities was the religion of Socialism. If this be so, the hon. Member for Sparkbrook is one of the great Labour heretics of our age. If he spent more time on sorting out his priorities and less in fighting his hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Rhodes) over the Green Paper, it would be an improvement for the cause of education in Britain. [Interruption.] I do not know why the Opposition Chief Whip is glaring at me: I am not a member of his party.

Therefore, the choice facing the House tonight is a simple one, between the policies on teacher supply outlined in the White Paper, which are thought out, which have been worked out and which have been integrated with other proposals so as to make a coherent whole, and a hotch-potch of vague and contradictory statements, designed to snatch at every passing educational fashion, and any fad or fancy that the hon. Member for Sparkbrook thinks will bring in an immediate short-term vote.

My right hon. Friend has just completed the longest unbroken term of office of any Tory Education Minister since the war. She has celebrated it by winning the educational argument tonight, just as she has won it every time she has clashed with the hon. Member for Sparkbrook. We shall continue our celebrations in the Lobby by carrying the amendment.

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 281, Noes 264.

Division No. 180.] AYES [10.0 p.m.
Adley, Robert Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Gosport) Brocklebank-Fowler, Christopher
Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash) Benyon, W. Brown, Sir Edward (Bath)
Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead) Berry, Hn. Anthony Bruce-Gardyne, J.
Amery, Rt. Hn. Julian Biffen, John Bryan, Sir Paul
Archer, Jeffrey (Louth) Biggs-Davison, John Buchanan-Smith, Alick (Angus, N & M)
Astor, John Blaker, Peter Buck, Antony
Atkins, Humphrey Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S.W.) Bullus, Sir Eric
Awdry, Daniel Body, Richard Butler, Adam (Bosworth)
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone) Boscawen, Hn. Robert Campbell, Rt. Hn. G. (Moray & Nairn)
Baker, W. H. K. (Banff) Bossom, Sir Clive Carlisle, Mark
Barber, Rt. Hn. Anthony Bowden, Andrew Carr, Rt. Hn. Robert
Batstord, Brian Braine, Sir Bernard Cary, Sir Robert
Bell, Ronald Bray, Ronald Channon, Paul
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay) Brinton, Sir Tatton Chapman, Sydney
Chataway, Rt. Hn. Christopher Howell, David (Guildford) Prior, Rt. Hn. J. M. L.
Chichester-Clark, R. Howell, Ralph (Norfolk, N.) Proudfoot, Wilfred
Churchill, W. S. Hunt, John Pym, Rt. Hn. Francis
Clark, William (Surrey, E.) Hutchison, Michael Clark Quennell, Miss J. M.
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Raison, Timothy
Cockeram, Eric James, David Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James
Cooke, Robert Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford) Rawlinson, Rt. Hn. Sir Peter
Coombs, Derek Jennings, J. C. (Burton) Redmond, Robert
Cooper, A. E. Jessel, Toby Reed, Laurance (Bolton, E.)
Cordle, John Johnson Smith, G. (E. Grinstead) Rees, Peter (Dover)
Corfield, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Rees-Davies, W. R.
Cormack, Patrick Jopling, Michael Renton, Rt. Hn. Sir David
Costain, A. P. Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith Ridley, Hn. Nicholas
Critchley, Julian Kaberry, Sir Donald Ridsdale, Julian
Crouch, David Kellett-Bowman, Mrs. Elaine Rippon, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey
Dalkeith, Earl of Kershaw, Anthony Roberts, Michael (Cardiff, N.)
Davies, Rt. Hn. John (Knutsford) Kilfedder, James Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry King, Evelyn (Dorset, S.) Rost, Peter
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Maj.-Gen. Jack King, Tom (Bridgwater) Royle, Anthony
Dean, Paul Kinsey, J. R. Russell, Sir Ronald
Deedes, Rt. Hn. W. F. Kitson, Timothy St. John-Stevas, Norman
Dixon, Piers Knight, Mrs. Jill Scott, Nicholas
Drayson, G. B. Knox, David Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)
du Cann, Rt. Hn. Edward Lamont, Norman Shelton, William (Clapham)
Dykes, Hugh Lane, David Shersby, Michael
Eden, Rt. Hn. Sir John Langford-Holt, Sir John Simeons, Charles
Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke) Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Sinclair, Sir George
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Lloyd, Rt. Hn. Geoffrey (Sut'nC'field) Skeet, T. H. H.
Emery, Peter Lloyd, Ian (P'tsm'th, Langstone) Smith, Dudley (W'wick & L'mington)
Eyre, Reginald Longden, Sir Gilbert Sorel, Harold
Farr, John Luce, R. N. Speed, Keith
Fell, Anthony McAdden, Sir Stephen Spence, John
Fenner, Mrs. Peggy MacArthur, Ian Sproat, Iain
Finsberg, Geoffrey (Hampstead) McCrindle, R. A. Stainton, Keith
Fisher, Nigel (Surbiton) McLaren, Martin Stanbrook, Ivor
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Macmillan, Rt. Hn. Maurice (Farnham) Stewart-Smith, Geoffrey (Belper)
Fookes, Miss Janet McNair-Wilson, Michael Stodart, Anthony (Edinburgh, W.)
Fortescue, Tim McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest) Stokes, John
Foster, Sir John Maddan, Martin Stuttaford, Dr. Tom
Fowler, Norman Madel, David Sutcliffe, John
Fox, Marcus Maginnis, John E. Tapsell, Peter
Fraser, Rt. Hn. Hugh (St'fford & Stone) Marples, Rt. Hn. Ernest Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Galbraith, Hn. T. G. D. Marten, Neil Taylor, Edward M. (G'gow, Cathcart)
Gardner, Edward Mather, Carol Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)
Gibson-Watt, David Maude, Angus Taylor, Robert (Croydon, N.W.)
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, C.) Maudling, Rt. Hn. Reginald Tebbit, Norman
Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.) Mawby, Ray Temple, John M.
Glyn, Dr. Alan Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Thatcher, Rt. Hn. Mrs. Margaret
Godber, Rt. Hn. J. B. Meyer, Sir Anthony Thomas, John Stradling (Monmouth)
Goodhart, Philip Mills, Peter (Torrington) Thomas, Rt. Hn. Peter (Hendon, S.)
Gorst, John Miscampbell, Norman Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Gower, Raymond Mitchell, Lt.-Col. C.(Aberdeenshire, W) Tilney, John
Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C.) Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Trafford, Dr. Anthony
Gray, Hamish Moate, Roger Trew, Peter
Green, Alan Money, Ernie Tugendhat, Christopher
Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds) Monks, Mrs. Connie Turton, Rt. Hn. Sir Robin
Grylls, Michael Monro, Hector Vaughan, Dr. Gerard
Gummer, J. Selwyn Montgomery, Fergus Vickers, Dame Joan
Gurden, Harold More, Jasper Waddington, David
Hall, Miss Joan (Keighley) Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh) Welder, David (Clitheroe)
Hall, Sir John (Wycombe) Morgan-Giles, Rear-Adm. Walker, Rt. Hn. Peter (Worcester)
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Morrison, Charles Wall, Patrick
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Mudd, David Walters, Dennis
Hannam, John (Exeter) Murton, Oscar Ward, Dame Irene
Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Nabarro, Sir Gerald Wells, John (Maidstone)
Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Neave, Airey White, Roger (Gravesend)
Haselhurst, Alan Nicholls, Sir Harmar Whitelaw. Rt. Hn. William
Hastings, Stephen Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael Wiggin, Jerry
Havers, Sir Michael Nott, John Wilkinson, John
Hawkins, Paul Onslow, Cranley Winterton, Nicholas
Hay, John Oppenheim, Mrs. Sally Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Hayhoe, Barney Osborn, John Wood. Rt. Hn. Richard
Heseltine, Michael Owen, Idris (Stockport, N.) Woodhouse, Hn. Christopher
Hicks, Robert Page, Rt. Hn. Graham (Crosby) Woodnutt, Mark
Higgins, Terence L. Parkinson, Cecil Worsley, Marcus
Holland, Philip Percival, Ian Wylie, Rt. Hn. N. R.
Holt, Miss Mary Peyton, Rt. Hn. John Younger, Hn. George
Hordern, Peter Pike, Miss Mervyn
Hornby, Richard Pink, R. Bonner TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hn. Dame Patricia Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch Mr. Bernard Weatherill and
Howe, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Price, David (Eastleigh) Mr. Walter Clegg.
Abse, Leo Foot, Michael Mason, Rt. Hn. Roy
Albu, Austen Ford, Ben Mayhew, Christopher
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Forrester, John Meacher, Michael
Allen, Scholefield Fraser, John (Norwood) Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert
Archer, Peter (Rowley Regis) Freeson, Reginald Mikardo, Ian
Ashley, Jack Galpern, Sir Myer Millan, Bruce
Ashton, Joe Garrett, W. E. Miller, Dr. M. S.
Atkinson, Norman Gilbert, Dr. John Milne, Edward
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Ginsburg, David (Dewsbury) Mitchell, R. C. (S'hampton, Itchen)
Barnes, Michael Gourley, Harry Molloy, William
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Grant, George (Morpeth) Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)
Barnett, Joel (Heywood and Royton) Grant, John D. (Islington, E.) Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Baxter, William Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside) Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)
Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood Hamilton, William (Fife, W.) Morris, Rt. Hn. John (Aberavon)
Bennett, James(Glasgow, Bridgeton) Hamling, William Moyle, Roland
Bidwell, Sydney Hardy, Peter Mulley, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Bishop, E. S. Harper, Joseph Murray, Ronald King
Blenkinsop, Arthur Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Oakes, Gordon
Boardman, H. (Leigh) Hart, Rt. Hn. Judith Ogden, Eric
Booth, Albert Hattersley, Roy O'Halloran, Michael
Boothroyd, Miss B. (West Brom.) Hatton, F. O'Malley, Brian
Bottomley, Rt. Hr. Arthur Healey, Rt. Hn. Denis Oram, Bert
Boyden, James (Bishop Auckland) Heffer, Eric S. Orme, Stanley
Bradley, Tom Hilton, W. S. Oswald, Thomas
Brown, Robert C. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne, W.) Hooson, Emlyn Owen, Dr. David (Plymouth, Sutton)
Brown, Hugh D. (G'gow, Provan) Horam, John Padley, Walter
Brown, Ronald (Shoreditch & F'bury) Houghton, Rt. Hn. Douglas Paget, R. T.
Buchan, Norman Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Palmer, Arthur
Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn) Huckfield, Leslie Pannell, Rt. Hn. Charles
Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green) Hughes, Rt. Hn. Cledwyn (Anglesey) Pardoe, John
Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James Hughes, Mark (Durham) Parker, John (Dagenham)
Campbell, I. (Dunbartonshire, W.) Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen, N.) Parry, Robert (Liverpool, Exchange)
Cant, R. B. Hughes, Roy (Newport) Pavitt, Laurie
Carmichael, Neil Hunter, Adam Pendry, Tom
Carter, Ray (Birmingh'm, Northfield) Irvine, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur (Edge Hill) Perry, Ernest G.
Carter-Jones, Lewis (Eccles) Janner, Greyville Prentice, Rt. Hn. Reg.
Castle, Rt. Hn. Barbara Jay. Rt. Hn. Douglas Prescott, John
Clark, David (Colne Valley) Jeger, Mrs. Lena Price, William (Rugby)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol, S.) Jenkins, Rt. Hn. Roy (Stechford) Probert, Arthur
Cohen, Stanley John, Brynmor Radice, Giles
Coleman, Donald Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Reed, D. (Sedgefield)
Concannon, J. D. Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.) Rees, Merlyn (Leeds, S.)
Conlan. Bernard Johnson, Walter (Derby, S.) Rhodes, Geoffrey
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jones, Barry (Flint, E.) Richard, Ivor
Cox, Thomas (Wandsworth, C.) Jones, Dan (Burnley) Roberts, Rt. Hn. Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Crawshaw, Richard Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.) Robertson, John (Paisley)
Cronin, John Jones, Gwynoro (Carmarthen) Roderick, Caerwyn E. (Brc'n & R'dnor)
Crossman, Rt. Hn. Richard Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, W.) Rodgers, William (Stockton-on-Tees)
Cunningham, G. (Islington, S.W.) Kaufman, Gerald Rose Paul B.
Kelley, Richard
Cunningham, Dr. J. A. (Whitehaven) Kerr, Russell Ross, Rt. Hn. William (Kilmarnock)
Dalyell, Tam Kinnock, Neil Rowlands, Ted
Darling, Rt. Hn. George Lambie, David Sandelson, Neville
Davidson, Arthur Lamborn, Harry Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-under-Lyne)
Davies, Denzil (Llanelly) Lamond, James Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Latham, Arthur Short, Rt. Hn. Edward (N'c'tle-u-Tyne)
Davis, Clinton (Hackney, C.) Lawson, George Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N.E.)
Davis, Terry (Bromsgrove) Leadbitter, Ted Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)
Deakins, Eric Lee, Rt. Hn. Frederick Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)
de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey Lester, Miss Joan Sitters, James
Delargy, Hugh Lewis, Arthur (W. Ham, N.) Silverman, Julius
Dell, Rt. Hn. Edmund Lipton, Marcus Skinner, Dennis
Dempsey, James Lomas, Kenneth Small, William
Doig, Peter Loughlin, Charles Smith, John (Lanarkshire, N.)
Dormand, J. D. Lyon, Alexander W. (York) Spearing, Nigel
Douglas, Dick (Stirlingshire, E.) Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.) Spriggs, Leslie
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson Stallard, A. W.
Driberg, Tom McBride, Neil Steel, David
Duffy, A. E. P. McCartney, Hugh Stoddart, David (Swindon)
Dunn, James A. McElhone, Frank Stonehouse, Rt. Hn. John
Dunnett, Jack Machin, George Stott, Roger (Westhoughton)
Edelman, Maurice Mackenzie, Gregor Strang, Gavin
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) Mackie, John Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R.
Edwards, William (Merioneth) Mackintosh, John P. Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley
Ellis, Tom Maclennan, Robert Swain, Thomas
English, Michael McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.) Thomas, Rt. Hn. George (Cardiff, W.)
Evans, Fred McNamara, J. Kevin Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Ewing, Harry Mahon, Simon (Bootie) Tinn, James
Fernyhough, Rt. Hn. E. Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.) Tope, Graham
Fisher, Mrs. Doris (B'ham, Ladywood) Marks, Kenneth Torney, Tom
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Marquand, David Tuck, Raphael
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Marsden, F. Varley, Eric G.
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Marshall, Dr. Edmund Wainwright, Edwin
Walden, Brian (B'm'ham, All Saints) White, James (Glasgow, Pollok) Wilson, Rt. Hn. Harold (Huyton)
Walker, Harold (Doncaster) Whitehead, Phillip Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)
Wallace, George Whitlock, William Woof, Robert
Watkins, David Willey, Rt. Hn. Frederick
Weitzman, David Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Wellbeloved, James Williams, W. T. (Warrington) Mr. James Hamilton and
Wells, William (Walsall, N.) Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton) Mr. John Golding.
Question accordingly agreed to.
Main Question, as amended, put and agreed to.
"That this House welcomes the policy of Her Majesty's Government to plan for an increase of over 140,000 teachers between 1971 and 1981, to improve staffing standards, and to extend in-service training.