HC Deb 19 March 1985 vol 75 c773
15. Mr. Patrick Thompson

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the progress made towards settling the teachers' pay dispute.

Sir Keith Joseph

Following the teachers' rejection of management's offer of 4 per cent. and their refusal of arbitration, the management panel has invited the teachers to agree to conciliation. ACAS has offered its services. It today opens exploratory discussions with the management panel and has invited the teachers' panel to similar, separate discussions:

Mr. Thompson

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the present confrontation in our schools is harming our children's education for the second year running, and will harm it further if it continues into the examination period? Does my right hon. Friend further agree that the teachers' leaders would be well advised to encourage their members to go back into the classrooms and to return to the negotiating table so that talks can proceed?

Sir Keith Joseph

I answer yes to both of my hon. Friends questions.