HC Deb 13 March 1973 vol 852 c1089
2. Mr. Sydney Chapman

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is her estimate of the period of time, after the introduction of the release of teachers for in-service training in the 1974–75 school year, before every teacher who has completed seven years' teaching will have had one term's in-service training.

Mrs. Thatcher

It is not possible to give such an estimate, as it is not intended that in-service training shall be compulsory, although teachers will be strongly encouraged to avail themselves of the greatly increased opportunities for release which will be provided.

Mr. Chapman

I appreciate the magnitude of my right hon. Friend's proposals, which were mentioned in her speech in this House on 19th February, about in-service training whereby, for example, by 1981 at any one time 3 per cent. of teachers will be on in-service courses. Will my right hon. Friend consider the possibility of giving priority, where special courses are deemed necessary, to teachers in areas of high immigrant concentration?

Mrs. Thatcher

I accept my hon. Friend's figures. About 3 per cent. of teachers should be released on secondment by 1981. We hope that the first substantial expansion will come in 197475. The determination of priorities, such as the important priority to which my hon. Friend refers, will be one of the matters for negotiation which in the White Paper we suggest should take place between the teachers' associations and the local authorities once the programme is under way. Judging by the representations which I have had from teachers about teaching in areas of this kind, I believe that they will be the first to ask for courses for this kind of work.