HC Deb 19 February 1990 vol 167 cc646-7
10. Mr. Butler

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has as to the hourly pay of supply teachers and home tutors in (a) West Glamorgan, (b) Gwent and (c) Wales as a whole; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

Local education authorities have considerable flexibility on the pay of supply teachers and home tutors. They are not required to notify the Welsh Office of their local arrangements.

Mr. Butler

Does my hon. Friend accept the recommendations of the interim advisory committee which, if implemented, would eradicate the discrimination against supply teachers in counties in Wales as outside?

Mr. Roberts

I am glad to tell my hon. Friend that we accept the recommendations of the interim advisory committee—including those related to teachers on short-notice contracts. As a result of those recommendations, the pay of supply and other teachers on such contracts would be calculated on the same basis as that of full-time or regular part-time teachers.

Mr. Gwilym Jones

Is my hon. Friend satisfied with recruitment to teacher training courses in Wales?

Mr. Roberts

On the whole, yes, and I am glad to tell my hon. Friend that initial recruitment to the public sector training institutions in Wales exceeded the target by more than 17 per cent. That augurs well for the future and implies that teaching is still viewed as an attractive career.

Dr. Thomas

The Minister's statement will be very welcome to all part-time or supply teachers. Is he satisfied that sufficient resources are available to Welsh local education authorities to employ the part-time and supply teachers required to ensure that the national curriculum is fully implemented?

Mr. Roberts

A survey of teaching in Wales showed that the vacancy rate is about 1 per cent., which is similar to the rate for England and Wales combined. We are keeping a careful eye on the position and are doing our utmost to ensure an adequate supply of teachers. Other matters, including the employment of part-time and supply teachers, are for local authorities.