HC Deb 07 May 1980 vol 984 cc268-9
12. Mr. Canavan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects next to meet representatives of the Educational Institute of Scotland.

Mr. Alexander Fletcher

My right hon. Friend has no plans for such a meeting at present.

Mr. Canavan

Why is it that, despite several requests from myself and other hon. Members, the Minister has failed to make a statement about the recent crisis in Scottish education following the disastrous Clegg report? Instead of behaving with such dumb insensitivity, will the Minister give an assurance that the Government will not stand in the way of a fair wages settlement for Scottish teachers, even if it means giving extra rate support grant to local authorities?

Mr. Fletcher

I do not know where the hon. Gentleman has been, but he should know that the Clegg report, which came out at the beginning of April, was settled by the Scottish Teachers Salary Committee before the end of April. I believe that reflects great credit on both sides of the STSC. It may not say much for Clegg, but it says a lot for the negotiating machinery in Scotland.

Mr. Bill Walker

When my hon. Friend next meets the Educational Institute of Scotland will he ask it to acknowledge that if teachers wish to continue to use outside professional analogues in pay negotiations, they should behave like professionals, and what is more, they should go to work looking like professionals?

Mr. Fletcher

There are enough problems in education in Scotland without laying down the style which teachers should use for their dress. Certainly, some teachers have behaved quite irresponsibly during the past few weeks, but the vast majority have continued with their work and have appreciated the settlement which has been reached.