§ 3. Mr. Knox
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the pupil-teacher ratio in secondary schools in Wales at the most recent count; and how this compares with the ratio in 1978.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Michael Roberts
The ratio was 16.6 to 1 in January 1981, compared with 16.9 to 1 in 1978.
§ Mr. Knox
Will my hon. Friend confirm that this improvement in the pupil-teacher ratio in secondary schools in Wales has occurred in all the counties of Wales?
§ Mr. Roberts
The ratio varies between LEA areas and reflects their circumstances and policies in the deployment of teachers. With one exception, where the level has remained the same, the pupil-teacher ratio in all Welsh counties has improved since 1978. In mid-Glamorgan, for example, it has improved from 17.1 to 16.8.
§ Mr. D. E. Thomas
Will the Minister now tell his hon. Friend the Member for Leek (Mr. Knox) and the House that other factors that influence Welsh education policy are just as important as the pupil-teacher ratio? I have in mind, for example, the per capita expenditure of each authority.
§ Mr. Roberts
The per capita expenditure, too, has improved. The hon. Gentleman is right about there being other important factors, though teachers must be regarded as the most important resource in the education service.