HC Deb 17 December 1974 vol 883 cc1346-7
16. Mr. Cryer

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will introduce legislation giving greater opportunities for teachers in primary, secondary and further education to participate in decision making; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Armstrong

My right hon. Friend is considering a wide range of issues concerning school government and management, including opportunities for more teacher participation. When approving instruments and articles of government for colleges of education and of further education my right hon. Friend requires appropriate representation of teaching staff on governing bodies and academic boards.

Mr. Cryer

Does my hon. Friend accept that if teachers are to be able to explain about democracy they should have first-hand experience of it in their own schools? Does he not accept that without legislation teachers are virtually powerless to take decisions under the existing powers of headmasters and principals?

Mr. Armstrong

I accept what my hon. Friend said, except that we cannot impose democracy from above. I am all for democracy in local authorities and educational institutions, but it must come from the bottom rather than that we should try to impose it.

Mr. Speaker

Questions to the Prime Minister.

Mr. Hannam

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Since some very important Questions on the arts have once again not been reached in Questions to the Secretary of State for Education and Science, would it be possible for you to provide that arts Questions should begin at five minutes past three o'clock on those days when Questions to the Secretary of State for Education and Science are top of the list?

Mr. Speaker

This is not a matter for me, but no doubt the hon. Member's point will have been noted.