HC Deb 19 June 1974 vol 875 cc473-4
18. Mr. Monro

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will announce the new salary scales for teachers and the increase for designated posts in primary and secondary schools; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Robert Hughes

The new scales and allowances to be paid as from 1st April were announced by the Scottish Teachers Salaries Committee on 29th May. I am sending details to the hon. Member.

The Committee has under consideration the form of an extended designation scheme to operate from 1st August. The total sum for distribution is approximately doubled by the extra £1.15 million made available following the statement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 6th May. We are awaiting the committee's report.—[Vol. 873, c. 14.]

Mr. Monro

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his statement, but how does it fit in with the commission on teachers' salaries set up by the Secretary of State? Will Scots be represented on it, and will it report to the Secretary of State or to the STSC? I am pleased about the designation scheme, because it is important that teachers should know at the earliest possible date the figure which will be allocated to it for next Session so that they can decide on their education authority employment in the coming Session.

Mr. Hughes

The pay increase which operated from 1st April is not affected by the review body's recommendations. When the results are reported, the Government will honour their commitment that the increases so awarded will be backdated to the date of the announcement—24th May. There will be Scots on the body, and I understand that an announcement of its membership will be made today.

It is important to obtain the details of the designation scheme as soon as possible, although that matter is not entirely in our hands. However, I shall do all I can to ensure that the report is not delayed.

Mr. Hugh D. Brown

Surely my hon. Friend should make the point that many of the problems arise from the delay caused by the Conservative Government and their incomes policy on teachers' salaries. Will the new scales in the designation scheme be known within the next two weeks, in the next month, or after the review date?

Mr. Hughes

I agree entirely with my hon. Friend that many of the difficulties which we face in teaching, in the National Health Service, and in many other respects, arise from the Conservative Government's statutory incomes policy, but I ask him not to confuse the report of the review body, which is considering the question of teachers' pay and conditions, with the working party of the Scottish Teachers Salaries Committee on designation. Those matters are not related.

I cannot say when the committee will report, but, as the new designation scales will have to operate from 1st August, the sooner the committee can produce the report the better for all concerned, so that local authorities can make their plans for the next session.