HC Deb 06 June 1990 vol 173 cc733-57 10.15 pm
The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. John MacGregor)

I beg to move, That the draft Education (School Teachers' Pay and Conditions) Order 1990, which was laid before this House on 11 th May, be approved.[ Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. Will those hon. Members not remaining for the debate please leave quietly?

Mr. MacGregor

The order will give effect to the school teachers' pay and conditions document 1990, which sets out the rates of pay and conditions of service to apply in state schools in 1990


The publication of the 1990 pay and conditions document will complete a process that began in September 1989, when I asked the interim advisory committee to advise on teachers' pay in 1990–91. As the House knows, apart from asking it to consider what general pay increase should be given to teachers, I gave it more specific remits: to look especially at ways of further increasing flexibility within the pay system, improving the career structure and helping local education authorities to tackle geographical and subject teacher shortages—giving special consideration to the problems in London—and to review specifically the pay of heads and deputies.

In my view, the committee has fulfilled its remit admirably and produced the third in what has been a series of excellent reports. The committee endorsed the thinking underlying the present pay structure—[Interruption]

Mr. Speaker

Order. I ask hon. Members either to listen to the debate or to continue their conversations outside the Chamber.

Mr. MacGregor

The committee endorsed the thinking underlying the present pay structure, and made recommendations intended to carry it even further into practice. It concluded that, although the recent improvements to the pay structure had all been in the right direction, more needed to be done to provide LEAs and governing bodies with sufficient flexibility to tackle the needs of individual schools, to reward responsibility and high performance, to respond to changing circumstances and to provide attractive career prospects for able and ambitious teachers, whether they want to stay in the classroom or prefer to move to senior management positions.

The interim advisory committee made far-reaching proposals for change: those are the words that it used, and I agree. Its report reaffirmed the value and importance of incentive allowances, and boosted their number and value. In addition, however, it proposed that LEAs and governing bodies should be able to enhance the standard incremental pay of individual teachers on the main scale on an annual basis, and that it should be possible to adopt and use a local extension of the main scale to enhance the pay of teachers on the top of the scale. It also clearly identified the need for greater recognition of differences in the circumstances of schools, and in the performance of individuals, in the way in which heads and deputies are paid. It proposed that the present system of spot salaries should be replaced by a system of range pay.

I received the report on 30 January, and announced on 1 February that I proposed to accept its recommendations in full——

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman (Lancaster)

Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is desirable for county councils such as Lancashire to spend less on administration and to devote more to giving incentive payments to teachers, as my right hon. Friend and the advisory committee recommend?

Mr. MacGregor

I shall be commenting on that later. Under local management of schools, there is greater flexibility for schools to do that. Clearly, making full use of what is available as a result of the report is an important priority for LEAs.

I accept the report's recommendations in full, but decided to stage their introduction in the same way as for the review body groups, because of affordability within public expenditure totals for this year. It is worth noting, however, that by far the major part of the proposals will be implemented on 1 April—if the order is approved tonight and in another place—and some at the beginning of September. They will all be implemented in full from 1 January 1991. The overall cost in 1990–91 will be £620 million, and would be £733 million in a full year.

The speed with which I accepted the report clearly demonstrated my approval of the committee's whole approach and the Government's commitment to tackling with determination the issues of teachers' pay and supply. The speed with which we have moved since in terms of the consultation process and bringing the order before the House as quickly as we could shows that we are also keen to get the changes legitimised and in place for all teachers as quickly as possible. I know that some local education authorities are paying the new rates at the moment in the hope and assumption that the order will go through.

Section 3 of the Teachers' Pay and Conditions Act 1987 requires consultations with interested parties before the proposals can be implemented. I considered carefully the points made to me by the teacher unions and the employers, orally and in writing, and as a result have made a number of further minor modifications to the interim advisory committee recommendations that are incorporated in the draft document which accompanies the draft order.

They include placing certain deputy heads on a point higher on the new pay spine, which will give some 4,000 deputies an extra £300 on 1 January. The pay ranges for heads and deputies in small schools will be extended by one point. The six months qualifying service that entitles part-time teachers and teachers on short notice contracts to increments must be within one year, but will not now need to be continuous. I have accepted all those points in response to the recommendations made to me.

My acceptance of the interim advisory committee's recommendations means that teachers will receive substantial pay increases. By January 1991, heads and deputies will have seen their pay rise by up to 12.2 per cent. since March 1990. This will mean an increase of some £3,000 for a typical secondary head and £2,000 for a typical primary head. From 1 January, under the new system of range pay, local education authorities and governing bodies will have flexibility to recognise the demands of the job and the performance of the individual in the way in which they pay heads and deputies.

I believe that the changes to general salary grades have been sensitively handled by the committee and skilfully targeted. For new teachers, salaries will increase by up to 11.8 per cent. A good honours graduate will start on £10,503, or £12,003 in inner London. Teachers on the top of the scale will receive 8.9 per cent. There will be a further 14,400 new incentive allowances, bringing the total to 189,000 in primary and secondary schools. The value of the four higher rate incentive allowances will increase by 17 per cent.

That is not all. From 1 January, local education authorities and governing bodies will be able to award an incremental enhancement of up to £999 to any classroom teacher, provided that the value of the next incremental point is not exceeded. Local education authorities will be able to put in place local extensions to the standard scale and thereby raise the top point from £16,000 to £18,000. Overall, teachers will, on average, have seen an increase in their pay of 50 per cent. since March 1986 as soon as the proposals are fully in operation.

The improvements, used imaginatively and effectively, will mean better career prospects for good teachers, better matching of rewards with contribution and greatly enhanced scope for effective local decision taking. They will offer better rewards for the teacher in mid-career to whose needs the Select Committee on Education, Science and Arts recently drew attention.

Mr. Harry Greenway (Ealing, North)

It is impossible to hear the Secretary of State say that teachers' pay has increased by 50 per cent. since 1986 without expressing real admiration. I am bound to think back to the years 1974 to 1979. In 1974, I received the Houghton award, which the Labour party has trumpeted so often as so marvellous, but it was lost within almost a year because of 27 per cent. inflation. We were all worse off in 1979 than we were in 1974 when Labour took office.

Mr. MacGregor

My hon. Friend speaks from knowledge and personal experience, and he is quite right. That compares with an increase in real terms of about 30 per cent. for teachers under this Government.

The improvements will also give local education authorities and governors much more flexibility to respond effectively to local recruitment and retention problems. In inner London, where the problems in some parts are especially acute, there will also be a new discretionary pay settlement of £750. I recognise, as did the committee, that the introduction of a more flexible pay system places particular responsibilities on local decision takers. There will sometimes be difficult choices to be made, but that is in the nature of a more local and flexible system. If local management is about anything it is about the targeting of resources where they are most needed and will do most good. I said that earlier, in response to my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster (Dame E. Kellett-Bowman). It is the negation of good management to share out additional flexibilities according to Buggin's turn, and I hope that governing bodies and head teachers will resist such pressures and will not do that.

Pay flexibility and pay differentiation have a key role to play in improving morale and in tackling specific and local shortages. The new flexibilities will greatly increase the capacity for local management to manage. They represent a real step forward in our ability to create and sustain the kind of teaching force that we need for the future.

I am glad to have the opportunity to pay tribute once again to the interim advisory committee for the clarity of its analyses and the force of its recommendation in pointing the way ahead. I am most grateful to Lord Chilver and the members of his committee, not only for the time and care that they devoted to their tasks, but for the skilful and clear-sighted way in which they assessed the evidence, analysed the issues and produced carefully worked out recommendations. It is a tribute to the committee that many teachers have told me that they greatly value the work that it carried out and think that it might not be possible to get such a good career and pay structure in place without the committee's work.

Mr. Patrick Thompson (Norwich, North)

My right hon. Friend is right to pay tribute to the excellent work of the interim advisory committee. As a serving teacher for many years at the time when the Burnham committee used to operate, may I ask my right hon. Friend whether he agrees that that system did not work well for the teaching profession? The new system and that which replaces it will work a great deal better. My right hon. Friend is right to pay tribute to the members of the committee for their imagination and for the kind of report that they have produced.

Mr. MacGregor

I agree. There is widespread acceptance of the view that the Burnham committee did not work. I agree that the interim advisory committee has produced a much better structure and in so doing has skilfully carried out the remit that we gave it. The committee and the Government saw eye to eye on the actual needs, and I am grateful to the committee for that.

I shall now turn to the future pay machinery. Last December, in the debate on the Teachers' Pay and Conditions Act 1987 (Continuation) Order 1989, I referred to the discussions that I had recently completed with the teacher unions and employers on new pay machinery. In the light of those discussions, I announced on 26 April my proposals for new permanent negotiating machinery. I have today held the last of a series of constructive meetings with unions and employers. However, it is clear from the meeting that there is still a great deal of disagreement about the way forward. I shall now consider carefully the best way forward in the light of the differing views expressed to me. It remains my aim to introduce legislation early in the next Session of Parliament.

The order clearly sets out the Government's position. We have made clear the changes in structure that we have been putting in place and are further addressing. They are major advances in a single year. What do we get from the Opposition? Since the Labour party is making such play of its new policy document, it is legitimate to look to that to see what Labour has to say. The document is not very illuminating. It says: As resources allow, we will ensure that teachers who make a long-term commitment to their profession are properly rewarded. Precisely what does that mean? The whole point of the structural changes that we are making is to give greater rewards to those who make a long-term commitment, who take the key jobs and the greater responsibilities and who demonstrate classroom excellence. That is the thrust of what I am saying and what the committee has been recommending.

I put two questions to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw). First, what different structural changes——

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman

The hon. Member is not listening to my right hon. Friend.

Mr. MacGregor

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. Her intervention has made the hon. Gentleman concentrate.

First, what different——

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman

The hon. Member for Blackburn is still not listening.

Mr. MacGregor

The hon. Gentleman is clearly anxious not to listen.

First, what different structural changes is he proposing? We have been specific and we look to see whether the hon. Gentleman is. Secondly, is he promising anything—I repeat, anything—in terms of extra money? Again, we look to him to be specific. If he is not promising anything in terms of extra money, we shall rightly conclude that his speech is meaningless and that he is only offering never, never land.

If the Opposition are to criticise the measures that we are putting before the House, no one will pay any attention to what they say unless we have answers to the questions that I have posed. I look forward to the response of the hon. Member for Blackburn. I ask the House to approve the order so that we can ensure that teachers have the 1990–91 pay increases which I have recommended.

10.30 pm
Mr. Jack Straw (Blackburn)

Our education system faces an unprecedented crisis. According to the report of the senior chief inspector of schools which was published in February, one third of our children—over 2 million—are getting a "raw deal" from the education system over which the Government have presided for 11 years. Two thirds of all pupils in secondary schools, according to the report, have to learn in unsuitable accommodation. We are told that only just less than half the problems were adversely and seriously affecting the quality of work in one way or another. Research conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research for The Mail on Sunday concluded that the education system was in danger of collapse, with parents providing a support system of nearly £40 million for primary schools. The report states that without that many primary schools could not keep going. It tells us that most of the money is being used to fund the Government's new National Curriculum. One third of all money spent in schools on hooks and equipment comes from parents. Nearly one sixth of all schools surveyed are raising more money from parents than they receive from the State. A sixth are levying 'voluntary' contributions from parents. Central to the near collapse—according to The Mail on Sunday—lies the condition of the teaching service. Never has morale in the service been lower. Never have fewer people wanted to train to teach. Never have so many teachers wanted to leave the profession. Never has the service been so overburdened with meretricious, divisive and ill-thought-out changes such as local management of schools and an inflexible national curriculum. Never has there been a Government whose conduct of the education service has been so prejudiced and incompetent that it has reduced a once fine service to the point of near collapse.

The extent of the crisis in teacher recruitment, retention and morale is terrifying. The proportion of graduates entering teaching across the country has halved in eight years from 8 per cent. to 4 per cent. At Cambridge university, the number of graduates entering teacher training has halved in a year. In 1988, 83 graduates in Cambridge took up teacher training. There were only 45 last year.

Mr. James Pawsey (Rugby and Kenilworth)

Will the hon. Gentleman confirm that this evening the Opposition will vote against a measure that is worth £733 million to teachers? Will he tell the House what he would do were he in office? Will he tell us something about the contents of the Labour party's policy document?

Mr. Straw

Yes, I will tell the House, and I shall come to that point in my own time. I understand why Conservative Members will not acknowledge the extent of the crisis in education that they have produced, but they had better understand the near collapse, in the words of The Mail on Sunday, to which have they brought the education service.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett (Pembroke)


Mr. Straw

No, I will not give way to the hon. Gentleman. I am giving the hon. Gentleman and other Conservative Members a few facts about the extent of that collapse and about the problems——

Mr. MacGregor

Will the hon. Gentleman allow me to intervene?

Mr. Straw

I will, in a moment. I am giving the facts about the problems confronting teacher training institutions in recruiting decent graduates and other entrants.

According to the 2 May issue of The Economist, the London Institute of Education—the largest training institution in the country—managed to make only 17 offers for the 65 available places in mathematics; only eight offers for 20 places in economics; and 24 offers for 65 places in the sciences. As the Select Committee pointed out, 40 per cent. of those who enter teacher training fail to go into the profession even after four years, and half of those who do leave it within five years.

I will give way now to the Secretary of State, and perhaps he will tell the House whether he believes that those figures are a satisfactory account of his stewardship of the education service.

Mr. MacGregor

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the figure of £40 million of parental support that he gave—if it is correct—is less than 1 per cent. of the total that the Government and local education authorities are putting into primary schools? How can he possibly describe that as near collapse?

Mr. Straw

The Secretary of State's comment only shows how ignorant he is of the state of Britain's schools. The report to which I referred was written not by the Labour party but by the National Foundation for Educational Research for a Conservative newspaper, The Mail on Sunday. If the Secretary of State does not believe that report, he had better look at previous reports of the senior chief inspector, who pointed out in last year's report that many schools receive more by way of income from parents than by way of capitation for books and equipment from local education authorities.

Mr. Robert Key (Salisbury)

That is a wonderful thing.

Mr. Straw

That situation is the responsibility of the present Government.

Mr. Bruce Grocott (The Wrekin)

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. A Conservative Member described the increasing parental contribution to the essential needs of schoolchildren as "wonderful". Is it not in order for the House to know which Conservative Member made that remark?

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harold Walker)

Mr. Straw. [ Laughter.]

Mr. Straw

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman who made that remark will admit to it, if he has the guts to do SO.

It is increasingly difficult to recruit both the number and quality of entrants required to teacher training colleges.

Mr. Key

It was indeed I who said that it is wonderful that parents are contributing to schools.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. Confession time is over. That is sufficient. Let us return to the debate.

Mr. Straw

This is only a short debate, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and I know that many hon. Members in all parts of the House want to contribute. I have already given way twice, so I intend to proceed as quickly as possible.

The latest report of the interim advisory committee says that morale is even lower than was noted in its reports of the previous two years. The committee noted that far more teachers are compelled to take second jobs—having to moonlight—than ever before. It also said that teachers' commitment to their job is closer to breaking point.

Faced with that crisis in our schools, with the culpable neglect of school buildings, with the neglect of expenditure on equipment and books, and above all with a gratuitous neglect of the education of our children, what is the Government's response? Is it to recognise the nature of the crisis? Is it to start to reward teachers properly? No—it is none of those things. It is to cut the real pay of teachers. Conservative Members had better recognise that by voting for the order they will be voting for a real terms cut in the pay of teachers. The authority for that comes not from me, but from the interim advisory committee report [HON. MEMBERS: "Rubbish".]

When Conservative Members cry, "Rubbish", it only illustrates the level of their ignorance about the state of the service and about the teachers' pay for which they are voting.

In paragraph 4(3), the interim advisory committee said that even if inflation were to fall back to 7.5 per cent.—it is two percentage points above that—at the end of the financial year, as forecast by the Government, the majority of teachers will be worse off than a year previously, whatever happens in 1990–91. The order will increase the total pay bill by only 7.9 per cent. during the next year. Inflation is running at 9.4 per cent. Even Conservative Members, with their inadequate education, will understand by the comparison of those two figures that a real cut in pay will result from the order.

The Secretary of State has made much play of the suggestion that he is implementing the report in full. That is incorrect. He is delaying implementation of an inadequate report. He has said almost nothing about the fact that he is phasing in its implementation. His predecessor did not do that with the two previous reports.

The Secretary of State did not mention the fact that the additional cost of the report, over the cash limit of £600 million—an extra £20 million—will be borne, according to an answer which he gave me on 7 March, entirely by local education authorities, with the Government paying not a penny piece towards it. That was the nature of his answer. Perhaps the Secretary of State would like to explain how, if he is accepting the report, he does not accept responsibility for paying for the whole of it. We judge the Government by their deeds, not by the vacuity of their words.

The Secretary of State also did not address the fact that the cash limit was wholly inadequate. He asked me what we would have done. We would have ensured that there were negotiations between teachers and employers. Secondly, if we had inherited an interim advisory committee, or some such body, we would not have tied its hands or put it in a straitjacket before it started to consider teachers' pay and imposed upon it a prior cash limit of £600 million, which it says is inadequate.

What we would have done, and what the Select Committee recommended by saying that there should be more money for teachers, would be either to have allowed free negotiations between teachers and their employers, or had a review body of this kind, which would make a recommendation to the Government without a prior cash limit. The one absolute guarantee that I give is that we would not have presided at any stage over real cuts in teachers' pay. Teachers know that from our record—from Houghton and from Clegg.

As ever, the Secretary of State produced his ritual incantation of fiddled figures which allege that teachers have never had it so good, and how wonderfully teachers' pay has increased since 1986, when large increases were forced out of the Government after two years of industrial action after their pay had been declining for years.

If the Secretary of State were to examine graphs A and B in the Select Committee report, he would notice two things. First, since 1986, under the wonderful interim advisory committee system teachers' pay has only remained stable in real terms and is now declining in real terms. Secondly, if the Secretary of State examines graph B in the Select Committee's report he will see, above all, how severely teachers' pay has declined, compared with other groups.

It is extraordinary that Conservative Members of Parliament should be so blind to the workings of the labour market in which people make job decisions not just on absolute levels of pay but on what they are likely to get elsewhere.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Straw


I understand why Conservative Members do not want to acknowledge that by means of the order they will be cutting teachers' pay.

No one has ever gone into teaching for the money. In the past, however, teachers expected, and received, remuneration that was more reasonable compared with other groups. They also enjoyed the non-financial rewards of the respect and esteem of the wider community. But during the past 11 years Conservative Ministers and Members of Parliament have systematically insulted and abused teachers; they have undermined public confidence in teachers and their own confidence in themselves.

Mr. Key

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Straw


Conservatives have done that for 10 years. The Secretary of State for Education and Science was put into his job to try to repair the damage caused by his predecessor. Until last week he tried to avoid abusing and insulting teachers, but when he stood up to deliver a keynote address at the National Association of Head Teachers conference last week, half-way through he departed from his carefully prepared text, designed to placate head teachers, and insulted and abused teachers by suggesting that they should regard themselves as small business men and that schools should turn themselves into some kind of corner shop. I hope that the Secretary of State appreciates the damage that he has done to himself in the eyes of head teachers.

Mr. MacGregor

I was there. I saw that many of them undertstood the point that I was making. The hon. Gentleman's misrepresentation of what I said is utterly grotesque. I said that other groups, such as small businesses, which I know well, had to respond to substantial changes by working long hours, taking risks and facing difficulties. That was my point, and it was understood by the audience.

Mr. Straw

That was exactly the point that the Secretary of State made, and it went down like a lead balloon at the NAHT conference. It is crass in the extreme—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]. I shall tell Conservative Members why it is crass in the extreme to imply that schools can be compared with small businesses. Small businesses face severe difficulties because of the Government's economic policies. More businesses are going bankrupt than has happened for many years. Teachers and parents are suspicious of the Government's motives. They believe that the Government are trying to establish a two-tier system under which market forces will operate, with children being treated like commodities. The Secretary of State's speech to the NAHT conference, as many people have told me, confirmed their suspicions. It is because of those suspicions that support for the Government's education policies has collapsed severely during the past three years while support for Labour's policies has increased.

It is well known that, whatever Ministers may say about the excellence of their administration of the state education system during the past 11 years, it is still not good enough for them to use.

Mr. Key

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Straw

The hon. Gentleman is not a Minister. It may be good enough for other people's children, but it is certainly not good enough for the generality of Ministers' children.

Mr. Key

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is not seeking to mislead the House, but he is doing so. Many Conservative Members, including myself, use their local state schools.

Mr. Straw

As The Sunday Times, another Conservative newspaper, pointed out, the overwhelming majority of Conservative Ministers have sent and continue to send their children to private schools. What reveals the appalling double standards of those Ministers and the Government is that, while forcing down the real pay of teachers in the maintained sector and the budgets of local education authorities which pay those teachers, the Government are increasing the state subsidy to private schools to enable them to pay salaries greatly in excess of those allowed by law to be paid in the maintained sector.

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Straw


The clerk to the governors of Dulwich college wrote to parents in March this year explaining why the fees at the school were to be increased to £4,035 per annum. He said: Education … is labour intensive, and salaries and wages … are increasing at a greater rate than RPI … The importance of attracting and retaining staff of the highest calibre means that proper levels of salary must be paid, also reflecting the high costs of living in the area. He then confirmed that fees were to be increased to £4,035.

That would be okay if those fees were being paid entirely by parents. But for 277 children at that school the fees are being paid, in whole or in part, by the Government. The Government have agreed to pay those fees without any cavilling. On the one hand the Government are paying fees of £4,035 per pupil to Dulwich college to enable it to pay its teachers much more than the salaries that they could command in the state system, while on the other the Secretary of State has connived at the poll tax capping of Rochdale, Doncaster, Wigan and Calderdale—all authorities that are paying less than £1,800 per pupil per annum.

The education of the nation's children depends above all on the quality and dedication of its teachers. The Government have systematically undermined and under-rewarded teachers while imposing more demands on them. In the debate which preceded this one, the Minister of State for Health said grandiloquently at the beginning of her speech that our children were our future and that we owed them a most sacred trust. That is certainly true, but the Government have broken faith with our teachers and in doing so have broken their trust to the nation's children. We oppose the motion. We want better pay for our teachers because we want a better education for our children.

10.52 pm
Mr. James Pawsey (Rugby and Kenilworth)

The hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) was even more negative than usual tonight. He made no mention of what his party would do about teachers' pay. He said only that some teachers who made long-term commitments to the profession would be properly rewarded if resources allowed. At no time did the hon. Gentleman say what those resources would be. I hope that those teachers who read our deliberations will take on board the fact that Opposition Members will not put a figure on what they would pay the teaching profession. They have left an enormous vacuum surrounding teachers' pay.

I come to tonight's debate with a feeling of some nostalgia as it is likely to be the last of its kind. The interim advisory committee is soon to be replaced by the new permanent pay negotiating machinery announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. The debate gives us the opportunity to see how teachers' pay has increased under the interim advisory committee. Its recent recommendations would add a total of 9.3 per cent. to the teachers' pay bill in a full year. The cost for 1990–91 will be almost 8 per cent. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said, that means that teachers' pay will have increased by about 50 per cent. since 1986. My hon. Friends will agree that that is a substantial increase in anyone's language.

Despite that substantial increase, I am still far from convinced that teachers' pay accurately reflects their important role in society. The education of our children and young people is of the utmost importance. I remind the House yet again that the overwhelming majority of teachers are dedicated both to their profession and to the children in their charge. That answers the question posed by the hon. Member for Blackburn, who accused us of undermining and denigrating teachers. At no time have we done that.

Mr. Straw


Mr. Pawsey

I shall give way. We recognise the importance of the teacher in the classroom. Now I give way to the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Straw

The hon. Gentleman says that no Conservative Member has ever denigrated teachers. Will he explain why the present Secretary of State for the Environment, when Minister of State, Department of Education and Science, made a speech—which is in the Library—entitled, "Teachers encouraging a yob society"?

Mr. Pawsey

If that quotation is accurate, I think that that was a reference to some of the recent scenes at, for example, teacher conferences, but I shall deal with that point later.

The House will be aware that the reforms introduced by my right hon. and hon. Friends will do a great deal to enhance the quality and standard of state education. We have taken on the great debate which was started by the Opposition. The difference between the two sides is that while they talked about it we have done something about it.

Mr. Robert B. Jones (Hertfordshire, West)

I would not like my hon. Friend to think that the great debate on educational standards was started by the Opposition. It was started by the Council for Educational Standards.

Mr. Pawsey

I am obliged to my hon. Friend for that correction. I was thinking of the speech by Lord Callaghan in 1976.

The national curriculum, local management of schools and teacher assessment are all added responsibilities with which the teacher force must grapple. It is worth reminding the House that, despite our good intentions, despite our reforms, despite all our legislation, all that will be as nothing if we do not enjoy the full-hearted support and co-operation of the nation's teachers.

I come now to the intervention by the hon. Member for Blackburn. I am interested to see that, so much notice does he take of our debates, he is reading a newspaper.

Teachers are not always their own best advocates. The recent teacher conferences have done little to enhance the esteem in which individual teachers or the reputation of the profession is held. The spectacle of, for example, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers being howled down by his own militant leftists was disgraceful. Teachers must understand that if they wish to be regarded as a profession and remunerated as a profession, they must act as a profession. The public do not always see them on a par with doctors or architects, because doctors and architects seldom demonstrate with marches, banners and loudspeakers. Other professionals prefer to pursue their grievances more responsibly.

The Government are introducing educational reforms, and there is an argument that perhaps we are progressing more rapidly than some would like. We do not have to look far for the reasons for the reforms. We are anxious that improvements in schooling should be implemented with the least possible delay so that the maximum number of the nation's children can benefit and in the shortest time.

I suspect that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will agree that some of the reforms have been so carefully wrapped in red tape both by the Department of Education and Science and, especially, by local education authorities that the package of reform itself is in danger of being lost. I doubt whether there is a need for so many forms which take up an increasing amount of teacher time. The number of leaflets, pamphlets and booklets produced by the bureaucrats has tended to swamp the profession. It would be helpful if my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State could reduce the weight of paper that is currently submerging the profession. I say that in the clear knowledge that he is already doing something towards that.

I welcome the recommendations of the interim advisory committee and I note that the pay bill will be £733 million more than last year. Incidentally, that is £133 million more than the interim advisory committee recommendation. That figure must reflect the greatest credit on my right hon. Friend. He has persuaded the Treasury to cough up an extra £133 million and that substantial sum reflects the greatest credit on his persuasive abilities.

Mr. John Greenway (Ryedale)

Many of us had misgivings about the interim advisory committee three years ago. As my hon. Friend said, this may well be the last debate of this nature. However, does he agree that the interim advisory committee and the Government have done very well by the teaching profession over those three years?

Mr. Pawsey

I would not quarrel for a moment with my hon. Friend. He is absolutely right. The interim advisory committee has done a splendid job and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State was right to compliment it.

It is worth remembering that, under the interim advisory committee's awards, the starting salary for a good honours graduate will be about £12,000 a year in inner London. The awards will provide increases of at least 20 per cent. for teachers who are not at the top of the main scale. Above all, the committee's awards will be worth on average almost 10.5 per cent. for almost all 60,000 head teachers and their deputies.

The hon. Member for Blackburn clearly and totally misunderstands the problem and he misunderstands the challenge that is being put to head teachers. He seeks to denigrate my right hon. Friend's comments about head teachers and their work. He is wrong to do that. The additional money for head teachers reflects the additional importance of a head teacher's job under the local management of schools proposal.

I support LMS, and I believe that funding should follow the pupil and be pupil led. Pupils of the same age should attract the same resources, irrespective of the school that they attend. Heads are taking on a greater management role. Although that represents something of a departure, it will be a significant step forward.

Surely head teachers must know best what actually happens in their schools. They know who the conscientious teachers are and they know the day-to-day problems. They will be in the best position to do something about them. Therefore, it is only right that the additional management responsibility be recognised in the monthly pay packet.

The hon. Member for Blackburn referred to the considerable concern about teacher shortages. I hope that the interim advisory committee's latest recommendations help to make the teaching profession more attractive to graduates.

Incidentally, it is noteworthy that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has written to the Universities Funding Council asking it to take note of a planned increase in initial teacher training for the next three years. It is just possible that critics will say that planning is one thing and attainment is something else, yet it is fair to remember that recruitment to teacher training courses rose by about 8 per cent. in 1989. Teacher shortages are not all that common. For example, in my county of Warwickshire, the number of teacher vacancies in January last year was 31. In January of this year it was 25. To get those two figures into perspective, that is out of a teacher force of 3,677.

I welcome the statutory instrument and I certainly hope that it will encourage entrance to the teaching profession.

11.4 pm

Mr. Martin Flannery (Sheffield, Hillsborough)

Before Conservative Members start shouting the Opposition down, it is necessary to put the record straight about the interim advisory committee. The Secretary of State always funks doing that. In 1987, his predecessor, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the right hon. Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker), found that normal trade union and employer negotiations were not working out to the Government's satisfaction. He then did something for which the Government were rightly condemned by the United Nations body, the International Labour Organisation. I have made it clear on many occasions that there would never have been an interim advisory committee if the Government had not refused to engage in proper negotiations with teachers. No other western Government have refused to negotiate with teachers, trade unions and employers.

The Government then hand-picked a committee. It is a farce. There is no negotiating of any kind. That committee was imposed on teachers, and, even though the committee was hand-picked, its recommendations were not accepted by the Government. The Secretary of State is pretending that its recommendations were accepted, but he knows that they were not. He is offering less money than the committee wanted him to offer. The figure is miles behind inflation. A figure of 13.5 per cent. in real terms would be required to return to the 1987 position, and 14 per cent. in real terms would be required to return to the position that obtained in 1974.

When the Government withdrew teachers' negotiating rights—they have still not given them back—they committed an undemocratic action. [Interruption.] No amount of shouting at me can change that fact.

Meanwhile, the situation has become so serious that the Select Committee on Education, Science and Arts recently published one of its most important reports on teacher shortages. A whole section of that report is missing because we could not get it approved by the majority of Tories on the Committee, who prevented our minority report from being released for nearly a year.

The present Chairman is the second one, because the first was hounded out by the Tory majority on the Committee. That is a fact. I nominated the present Chairman, and my colleagues seconded the motion—the Chairman is present; he can tell the House—and they walked out of the room and did not return, even though we were to meet the Minister the next day. There are many things that we did not want in the report and many things that should be in the report but are not.

There is a growing crisis in the recruitment and training of teachers, and it must be taken into account. The problem is national, widespread, and inextricably linked with inadequate salary levels, bad conditions and scarce resources under this Government. [Interruption.] No amount of shouting will change that. I have heard the Secretary of State and his hon. Friends praising the head teachers, but they are talking rubbish. The speech made by Mr. Hart, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, is the biggest roistering ever given to a Government by the head teachers, who for years have been the darlings of this Government, but who have now completely changed their opinions.

It was Mr. Hart who said that the teacher shortage was a "crisis", approaching a "catastrophe". Everybody that the Select Committee met used the word "crisis". Only one person said that there was no crisis—the senior official of the Department of Education and Science. My hon. Friends who served on the Committee are present and know that to be true, as do Conservative Members who have said the same thing themselves.

One of the three interim advisory committee reports that was praised stated: Any profession would be justifiably proud of the level of commitment on the part of teachers we have met during our school visits during all 3 years. However, commitment cannot by itself guarantee the success of the current reforms. It needs to be underpinned by far higher morale than we have found. Too many teachers feel that their efforts are under-valued by the Government, the employers, parents, and society generally. In 1988, the interim advisory committee drew the link between proper professional levels of pay and problems of recruitment, stating: We are in no doubt that pay levels are the major factor. The Secretary of State praises the committee but he does not carry out the policies that his own hand-picked committee suggests to put teachers' pay levels right.

Surely it is now clear that teachers know that they are grossly underpaid. Let us have no nonsense about it. They know it and are miserable about it. They are overworked. They have to attend endless meetings, during their lunch hours and after school. They have to be at school earlier than ever before and have to spend endless more hours marking. Their morale is at its lowest ever ebb. The hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Bennett) can laugh and laugh—[ Laughter.] Indeed, he cannot stop laughing, but the reality is that——

Mr. John Marshall (Hendon, South)


Mr. Flannery

No, I shall not give way, because there is so little time. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will be called. Indeed, he has received a lot of fame in the past few days on College green—[Interruption.] Well, not about education.

There are vacancies in schools throughout the country. The hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) must know that he was talking rubbish. What he said is not true. Where 20 people used to apply for a job in a school, now only one or two people may apply. The hon. Gentleman said that he likes local management of schools, but I must advise him that teachers are now learning what it is really like. In addition to the existing teacher shortages, local management of schools is adding to the problems. For example, one school in my constituency was £18,000 short last year and now has to sack either one or two teachers. Often the teachers who are sacked to save money are the most expensive teachers—those who have been teaching for a long time, and the very ones who are so urgently needed if we are to raise standards.

In addition to the teacher shortage that our Select Committee report sought to remedy, unless something is done, we will lose teachers because of LMS. I have heard the Secretary of State trying to explain that away. People who do not understand the issues might accept his explanations, but those of us who do understand know what rubbish the right hon. Gentleman is talking. The teachers are all aware of that—they have all sized him up—yet the right hon. Gentleman still follows his predecessor's footsteps, albeit fairly skilfully. They have done the same thing—they have made our education system into a terrible mess.

The position is worsening every day. Not only is morale lower than ever, but it is getting ever lower. All hon. Members know that that is what is happening, even if some of them try to pretend that it is not. The Government must recognise the growing damage that is being inflicted on our children's education. Let us be clear about this: it is not their children. One or two Tory Members may send their children to state schools, but——

Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman


Mr. Flannery

Be quiet,

dear. The Government are inflicting the damage on our children, not their children. They pay £7,000, £8,000 or £9,000 for their kids to go to special schools, yet they take thousands off our children while talking a lot of nonsense. That is what goes on and they know it, and I am saying so. As the shortages worsen, the Government further exacerbate them by LMS.

The poll tax will hit education more than any other area. Education is one of the biggest spenders of what were local rates. Again, it is our children who will be hit. It will cause hundreds of redundancies. It is as though the Government have a death wish for state education which they will work out.

The Minister knows that the Government have imposed a cash limit of £6 million on the IAC's recommendations for this year. The offer is only 7.5 per cent., yet inflation is 9.4 per cent. The Government said that the offer was against a background of the falling rate of inflation. They say that they are coming to grips with it, but it is heading up to 10 per cent. If the offer was low because of a falling rate of inflation, as it is rising will they please give the teachers much more money? The full award would be only 9.3 per cent.—still below the rate of inflation. How can that solve our education problems?

Even to return to the 1988 position, the figure needs to be 13.8 per cent. We have costed this. We do not have to wait for the Government's costings. They are never correct. They do not tell the truth. To bring the figure back to Houghton levels, we need 40 per cent. on top of the present offer. That is how much teachers' salaries have been eroded.

Education cannot thrive in such an atmosphere. It is bound to go downhill. We cannot recruit, retain and motivate teachers with such an appalling lack of insight and in the atmosphere that dominates the Tory party. Despite all the evidence to the Select Committee, the Government continue to believe that teacher shortages are hitting only certain subjects and certain areas. That is untrue. There is a shortage in all areas and all subjects. All six teacher unions met last autumn and gave the lie to that claim, and our Front Bench survey bore them out.

If the crisis in the teaching profession is not to deepen further and endanger our children's education, this Government, who see that their children have plenty of money, must release the necessary funds to make teachers' salaries competitive with those of other professions. The numbers will fall and we will have to offer more money to attract more teachers. The interim advisory committee and the Select Committee both asked for more money. [Interruption.] Has the hon. Member for Sherwood (Mr. Stewart) something wrong with his right hand over there—yon Sherwood forester? I call him a Sherwood forester, but he would tie Robin Hood up and hand him over to the sheriff.

There is no other way to advance the great cause of our children's education. I appeal to the Tory party: if the Lady is not for turning, for God's sake, is there any among you who will turn and give us a decent education system?

Several Hon. Members


Mr. Deputy Speaker

Order. This is a very short debate, and short speeches are appropriate. I call Mr. John Marshall.

11.18 pm
Mr. John Marshall (Hendon, South)

The London borough of Barnet, which I have the honour to represent and where my children are being educated in voluntarily aided schools, is consistently producing better examination results than any other local education authority in the country.

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on his initiatives—on refining the national curriculum, on pressing ahead with the introduction of city technology colleges and grant-maintained schools—which will introduce variety, choice and flexibility into the education system—and on achieving greater flexibility in teachers' pay. Although I welcome that latter development, I should like the Minister to deal briefly in his winding-up speech with the need for more regional variations in teachers' pay. The Nationwide Anglia survey of house prices for the first quarter of the year shows that the average price of a terraced house in London was £88,470, and the average price of a semi-detached house £100,450. In Yorkshire and Humberside, the average price of a semi was £50,810, and in the northern region it was £49,590.

A teacher in the north of England can expect to obtain a mortgage of perhaps £30,000; a teacher in London has not a hope in hell with a mortgage that size. The average after-tax cost of a £30,000 mortgage is £327 per month, while that of a mortgage of £55,000—which is probably typical for London—is £669 per month, or an extra £85 per week. I ask Ministers to bear that in mind in future: unless regional pay is increased, a new north-south divide will develop. Teachers in the south-east will sell their London homes, making a large capital gain, and move to the north in the knowledge that they can enjoy lower mortgages and a higher standard of life.

We need still more flexibility. My right hon. Friend was educated at St. Andrews university, where the emphasis on market economics was particularly strong. Let me tell him that a shortage of teachers of French, maths and science is no reason to pay more to teachers of Latin or social studies. If teachers of "shortage subjects" are not paid more, the entire curriculum will be put at risk.

The status of the profession is, I feel, in the hands of the profession itself. No one has more faith in the profession as a whole than I have; a small minority, however, is putting the profession's reputation in jeopardy. A few weeks ago, I received a letter from my children's head teacher which said that because of action by the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers the children would receive no schooling in two days' time. That is disgraceful. It merely aggravates the parents—especially mothers—who are inconvenienced. It interferes irresponsibly with children's education, and gravely damages the image of the profession.

The hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) and others mentioned morale. In one section of the profession, however, morale is extremely high: I refer to grant-maintained schools. My right hon. Friend will remember paying a visit to Hendon school, the first grant-maintained school in London. Towards the end of that visit, a teacher approached him and said, "I am a member of the Labour party." I held my breath, wondering what would happen next. The teacher went on, "The best thing that has happened to this school has been becoming grant maintained."

Tonight we have heard the Opposition commit themselves to doing away with grant-maintained schools, city technology colleges and the private sector. What would that do for morale in the teaching profession? It would plummet to a new low. But that is what the Labour party stands for: it would do nothing for the education of our children, and nothing for morale in the teaching profession. Its proposed measures would be as productive as the abolition of the grammar schools. The grammar schools, we were told, would he abolished over Lord Wilson's dead body—and we all know what happened to them.

11.24 pm
Mr. Matthew Taylor (Truro)

The background to the debate is the present position in our schools. Some Conservative Members have referred to the professionals in the schools—[Interruption.]—not to mention the professionals in the Press Gallery. I have hardly started, but they are already falling apart up there.

I understand why some Conservative Members should discuss the experience of head teachers and in that context it is important to consider the letters that I received last year from head teachers in my constituency—a rural one with many small schools. Those letters referred to the distress that head teachers experienced in implementing the Government's reforms, and coping with lowered staff morale as well as with their loss of morale because of a feeling of lost status.

Occasionally a series of letters is sent as part of an orchestrated campaign to argue a particular case—often exaggerated to lend it more strength. I therefore visited each school in my constitutency to discover whether the possibility of resignations was real and to discuss the problems experienced.

Conservative Members are not prepared to accept that many teachers—not all—are suffering from low morale. A number of head teachers in my constituency have resigned citing pressure and low morale as their reasons. The Select Committee on Education, Science and Arts has highlighted similar problems affecting the retention and recruitment of teachers. No matter how hard Conservative Members argue that that is not so, it is the reality to which the debate must be addressed. Whether the Government's response has been adequate can be judged by how well they resolve those problems. We must ensure that they are solved so that our children receive a proper standard of education and we have enough teachers in the future to provide an adequate level of education.

Whatever criticisms Conservative Members may make of the teaching profession, it is to them that we entrust the education of our children. It is fundamental therefore to restore to them their negotiating rights. Tonight the Secretary of State has again referred to his intention to restore those rights—not before time, although the blame for that cannot be laid directly at his door. However, on 5 December when the current system for determining pay was extended by a further 12 months the Secretary of State said: It is necessary for the present arrangements to be in place for one more year."—[Official Report, 5 December 1989; Vol. 163, c. 271.] Although he has expressed his intention to replace the arrangements, it is rumoured that another extension order will be introduced because a Bill introduced in the next Queen's Speech might not be enacted by 31 March 1991. Can he guarantee that that Bill will be enacted in time to ensure that there will be no repetition of this debate? In the face of international law and the expressed Government intentions, will such a Bill be enacted or are the Government already preparing for a repetition of this debate? I remind the House that the Select Committee said that teachers' negotiating rights should be restored as soon as possible and that new arrangements for determining teachers' pay and conditions of service should be devised to allow the 1987 Act to expire in March 1991 at the latest. The extension of the system that we have already had is deplorable.

It is not true that the Government are implementing the interim advisory committee recommendations because on 1 February the Secretary of State for Education and Science announced that the Government proposed to accept the recommendations but that the introduction of the changes would be phased up to 1 January 1991. As a result, teachers will get increases that are lower than the rate of inflation. There is no point in looking at the result when in the process of reaching that result teachers will be worse off. That is in the face of recruitment, retention, and teacher supply problems. The interim advisory committee recommended not a phased increase but an immediate increase of 8.3 per cent. The Select Committee also said that the Government should implement the interim advisory committee recommendations in full and without delay. The Government are not doing that and that is directly increasing the problems in our schools.

The Government are not properly funding the recommendations. The IAC was given a remit of £600 million for its recommended pay increases. Its recommendation was for £733 million but, by delaying the increase, the Government will have to spend only £621 million this year. However, revenue support to local authorities was worked out on the basis of a pay award costing £600 million and the support grant settlement is not being revised. Once again, local authorities are being given a certain amount of money to cover a pay award ultimately imposed by the Government but are not being given the resources to pay for it. That is outrageous, especially when local authorities are blamed by Ministers for not being able to stay within Government targets.

Mr. Barry Porter (Wirral, South)

Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Taylor

I shall give way in a moment, but before doing so it might be useful to reflect on what the Secretary of State for Education and Science said in a written answer to the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw): The additional cost in 1990–91 of implementing the IAC's recommendations in the way I have proposed would be £620 million in England and Wales compared with the financial constraint set out in the IAC's remit of £600 million. The difference should not be an appreciable burden for local authorities given the scope that exists for savings across their services."—[Official Report, 7 March 1990; Vol. 168, c. 627.] That is ridiculous. All hon. Members know about the problems that schools have in finding the resources to introduce the national curriculum, local management of schools and all the other matters.

I defy the Minister to find extra savings. He cannot do it because the whole system is already built on the basis of savings by local government. The Government are not providing funding for the additional incentives recommended in the interim advisory committee report, such as provision for additional flexibility to increase pay, commensurate enhancements and ranges of pay points.

The Government have allowed local authorities no cash to achieve those things and that is completely unacceptable if the Government genuinely believe in what the interim advisory committee is arguing to achieve. Of course, the Government do not genuinely believe in what the IAC seeks to achieve. Teachers will be worse off under the proposals. Local authorities do not have the money to make the system work and once again the Government have managed to achieve a real cut in teachers' pay.

Mr. Barry Porter

Just so that the House may judge the quality of the hon. Gentleman's remarks, can he tell us what percentage of the teaching population in his constituency has resigned over the past year?

Mr. Taylor

I do not have those figures, and nor do the Government. However, not only have I received letters from teachers whom I do not know, saying that they are resigning, but friends of mine have resigned from local authority teaching. These are not mythical creatures. These are real teachers and real professionals who have given up because they do not have the support that they believe they should have from the Government.

11.35 pm
Mr. Derek Fatchett (Leeds, Central)

The backcloth to this debate is the same as that of all our education debates—the increasing crisis in our education system. It is known to all parents and teachers, and only Tory Members fail to recognise it. As the Secretary of State's speech showed, Ministers are complacent about the growing problems in our schools. If the Secretary of State wants chapter and verse for that, he has no better source than the evidence prepared for, and submitted by, the Select Committee on Education, Science and Arts, chaired by the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Thornton). That report contains detailed analyses of the teacher shortages, and what that means for the quality of education. Those problems are growing.

The Secretary of State will say that the Government have taken action, such as introducing bursaries for the shortage subjects. However, as the Secretary of State and the Minister of State know, even in the bursary subjects, the Government are failing to reach their target figures for recruitment. For example, in its figures to the Select Committee, the Department predicted that there would be a shortfall of nearly 30 per cent. in the number of technology teachers by the year 1995, yet this year, on the latest available figures for the number of teachers taking up the technology bursary, there is a shortfall on the Government's recruitment targets of nearly 25 per cent. The hon. Member for Sherwood (Mr. Stewart) should not shake his head, because those figures come from the Department.

The shortfall in teacher supply is getting even more acute, and on top of that, as the Select Committee report showed clearly, there is a collapse in teacher morale, a point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery) and the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. Taylor). It was, almost incidentally, recognised by one or two Tory Members. That collapse in morale is not surprising. The Government have gone ahead with a whole range of reforms—wrapped in red tape, according to the hon. Member for Rugby (Mr. Pawsey)—that were never based on co-operation and consultation with teachers. They went against the grain of teacher professionalism and only now is the Secretary of State realising that he needs teacher support.

The Government have introduced the local management of schools. Every one of those schemes that the Secretary of State now criticises, he sanctioned. Each one of them is producing problems in schools. That is why, as my hon. Friend the Member for Hillsborough said, we hear stories of teacher redundancies, and threatened teacher redundancies in so many schools.

The order will impose a cut in the living standard of teachers. The Government are presiding over a rate of inflation of 9.4 per cent., and are imposing on teachers a pay increase of 2 per cent. less than that. In other words, in their attempt to deal with the problem of falling morale, the Government are imposing on teachers a further 2 per cent. cut in their living standards. Furthermore, the Government have failed yet again to provide local education authorities with the money to fund the pay increase. Yet again, the Government will force local education authorities to make cuts in education services. Capped authorities will be forced to make cuts and to make teachers redundant. In authorities such as Barnsley and Calderdale the increase in spending is below the rate of inflation, yet the Secretary of State is prepared to take risks with children's education and see teachers made redundant.

The order is inadequate to deal with the problems that are faced by teachers and the education service generally. For that reason, I ask my right hon. and hon. Friends to join me in voting against it.

11.40 pm
The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Mrs. Angela Rumbold)

The debate should really have been about the interim advisory committee's report, which includes some extremely good suggestions and recommendations about teachers' pay. Much of this has been misrepresented by Opposition Members. The majority of rational people outside this place, having read what has been recommended and what my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has said, will say that everything that has been suggested is excellent and that the Government were right to accept it.

It was predictable that we would have much rhetoric from Opposition Members. There has been a great deal of gloom and doom and much talking up of a situation within our schools that does not need to be talked about in that way. It does not need to be discussed time and again. Our reforms are working excellently in the schools and we shall be seeing the results, which will undoubtedly benefit our children.

I am concerned by some of the remarks of the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw). I understand that the Labour party's policy review states that any changes made would be as resources allow. Yet tonight we have heard from the hon. Gentleman that any long-distant Labour Administration would give a completely open-ended commitment to the outcome of any sort of teacher negotiations or whatever mechanism that Government had for settling or negotiating teachers' pay. That does not sit well for the taxpayer in future. Nor does it sit well with remarks that have been made by other members of the Opposition Front Bench.

My hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) made an excellent speech. He rightly supported the IAC's report and rightly said also that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State always includes in his remarks the admiration and gratitude that the Government have for the dedicated teaching force throughout the country. We believe that the work that it is doing to implement our reforms will add enormously to the value of education for our children. I can tell my hon. Friend that my right hon. Friend has been working hard to reduce the amount of paper work.

My hon. Friend the Member for Hendon, South (Mr. Marshall) referred to the difficulties that are posed by regional variations. The IAC has drawn attention to the matter in its report. There are admirable flexibilities, but I hope that the matter will be further examined in any future negotiations.

It is right to say that the talk about teacher shortages is regional and could become worse. I tell the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery) that only this morning the Labour leader of the Association of County Councils told us that there were no teacher shortages in his county of Nottinghamshire. How does that square with the hon. Gentleman's rather sweeping remarks? It is extremely important to get the facts right.

We need less rhetoric and much more support for our teaching force throughout the country. We need more support from all who talk about education in this country. Above all, we need support for the order, so that we can implement the good increases and the changes and flexibility that the interim advisory committee has given us, to ensure that teachers feel rewarded—as I am sure they will.

Question put:

The House divided: Ayes 264, Noes 183.

Division No.226] [at 11.44 pm
Adley, Robert Brazier, Julian
Aitken, Jonathan Bright, Graham
Alexander, Richard Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)
Alison, Rt Hon Michael Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)
Amess, David Buck, Sir Antony
Amos, Alan Budgen, Nicholas
Arbuthnot, James Burns, Simon
Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham) Burt, Alistair
Ashby, David Butterfill, John
Aspinwall, Jack Carlisle, John, (Luton N)
Atkins, Robert Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley) Carrington, Matthew
Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N) Carttiss, Michael
Baldry, Tony Cash, William
Batiste, Spencer Channon, Rt Hon Paul
Beaumont-Dark, Anthony Chapman, Sydney
Bellingham, Henry Chope, Christopher
Bendall, Vivian Churchill, Mr
Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke) Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)
Body, Sir Richard Colvin, Michael
Boscawen, Hon Robert Conway, Derek
Boswell, Tim Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)
Bottomley, Peter Cope, Rt Hon John
Bottomley, Mrs Virginia Cran, James
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Currie, Mrs Edwina
Bowis, John Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)
Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes Davis, David (Boothferry)
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Day, Stephen
Devlin, Tim Lawrence, Ivan
Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Lee, John (Pendle)
Dover, Den Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Dunn, Bob Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Durant, Tony Lilley, Peter
Dykes, Hugh Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)
Eggar, Tim Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd) Luce, Rt Hon Richard
Evennett, David Lyell, Rt Hon Sir Nicholas
Fallon, Michael MacGregor, Rt Hon John
Field, Barry (Isle of Wight) MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)
Fishburn, John Dudley Maclean, David
Fookes, Dame Janet McNair-Wilson, Sir Michael
Forman, Nigel McNair-Wilson, Sir Patrick
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Malins, Humfrey
Forth, Eric Mans, Keith
Fox, Sir Marcus Maples, John
Franks, Cecil Marshall, John (Hendon S)
Freeman, Roger Marshall, Michael (Arundel)
French, Douglas Martin, David (Portsmouth S)
Gale, Roger Mawhinney, Dr Brian
Garel-Jones, Tristan Mellor, David
Gill, Christopher Meyer, Sir Anthony
Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian Miller, Sir Hal
Glyn, Dr Sir Alan Mills, Iain
Goodhart, Sir Philip Miscampbell, Norman
Goodlad, Alastair Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)
Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles Mitchell, Sir David
Gorman, Mrs Teresa Monro, Sir Hector
Gorst, John Montgomery, Sir Fergus
Gow, Ian Morris, M (N'hampton S)
Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW) Morrison, Sir Charles
Greenway, Harry (Ealing N) Morrison, Rt Hon P (Chester)
Greenway, John (Ryedale) Moss, Malcolm
Gregory, Conal Neale, Gerrard
Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N) Nelson, Anthony
Ground, Patrick Neubert, Michael
Grylls, Michael Newton, Rt Hon Tony
Hague, William Nicholls, Patrick
Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom) Nicholson, David (Taunton)
Hamilton, Neil (Tatton) Norris, Steve
Hampson, Dr Keith Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley
Hanley, Jeremy Oppenheim, Phillip
Hannam, John Page, Richard
Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr') Paice, James
Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn) Parkinson, Rt Hon Cecil
Harris, David Patnick, Irvine
Hawkins, Christopher Patten, Rt Hon John
Hayes, Jerry Pattie, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Hayward, Robert Pawsey, James
Heathcoat-Amory, David Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth
Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE) Porter, Barry (Wirral S)
Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE) Porter, David (Waveney)
Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L. Price, Sir David
Hind, Kenneth Raffan, Keith
Howard, Rt Hon Michael Renton, Rt Hon Tim
Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A) Riddick, Graham
Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd) Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas
Howell, Rt Hon David (G'dford) Ridsdale, Sir Julian
Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W) Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)
Hunt, David (Wirral W) Rossi, Sir Hugh
Hunter, Andrew Rost, Peter
Irvine, Michael Rowe, Andrew
Jack, Michael Rumbold, Mrs Angela
Jackson, Robert Ryder, Richard
Janman, Tim Sackville, Hon Tom
Johnson Smith, Sir Geoffrey Sainsbury, Hon Tim
Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N) Sayeed, Jonathan
Jones, Robert B (Herts W) Shaw, David (Dover)
Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)
Key, Robert Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield) Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)
King, Rt Hon Tom (Bridgwater) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
Kirkhope, Timothy Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)
Knapman, Roger Sims, Roger
Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston) Skeet, Sir Trevor
Knowles, Michael Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Knox, David Soames, Hon Nicholas
Lang, Ian Speller, Tony
Latham, Michael Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)
Spicer, Michael (S Worcs) Twinn, Dr Ian
Squire, Robin Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Stanley, Rt Hon Sir John Viggers, Peter
Steen, Anthony Waddington, Rt Hon David
Stern, Michael Waldegrave, Rt Hon William
Stevens, Lewis Walden, George
Stewart, Allan (Eastwood) Waller, Gary
Stewart, Andy (Sherwood) Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)
Stradling Thomas, Sir John Watts, John
Sumberg, David Wells, Bowen
Summerson, Hugo Wheeler, Sir John
Tapsell, Sir Peter Whitney, Ray
Taylor, Ian (Esher) Widdecombe, Ann
Taylor, John M (Solihull) Wiggin, Jerry
Taylor, Teddy (S'end E) Wilshire, David
Temple-Morris, Peter Winterton, Mrs Ann
Thompson, D. (Calder Valley) Winterton, Nicholas
Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N) Wolfson, Mark
Thorne, Neil Woodcock, Dr. Mike
Thornton, Malcolm Yeo, Tim
Thurnham, Peter Young, Sir George (Acton)
Townend, John (Bridlington)
Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath) Tellers for the Ayes:
Tracey, Richard Mr. David Lightbown and Mr. Timothy Wood.
Tredinnick, David
Abbott, Ms Diane Dobson, Frank
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Doran, Frank
Alton, David Duffy, A. E. P.
Anderson, Donald Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Evans, John (St Helens N)
Armstrong, Hilary Fatchett, Derek
Ashton, Joe Faulds, Andrew
Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE) Field, Frank (Birkenhead)
Barron, Kevin Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)
Beckett, Margaret Fisher, Mark
Beggs, Roy Flannery, Martin
Bell, Stuart Flynn, Paul
Benn, Rt Hon Tony Foot, Rt Hon Michael
Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish) Foster, Derek
Bidwell, Sydney Fraser, John
Blair, Tony Fyfe, Maria
Blunkett, David Galloway, George
Boateng, Paul Garrett, John (Norwich South)
Boyes, Roland George, Bruce
Bradley, Keith Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John
Brown, Gordon (D'mline E) Godman, Dr Norman A.
Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E) Golding, Mrs Llin
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith) Gordon, Mildred
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon) Gould, Bryan
Buckley, George J. Graham, Thomas
Caborn, Richard Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)
Callaghan, Jim Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE) Grocott, Bruce
Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley) Harman, Ms Harriet
Campbell-Savours, D. N. Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Canavan, Dennis Henderson, Doug
Carr, Michael Hinchliffe, David
Clark, Dr David (S Shields) Home Robertson, John
Clarke, Tom (Monklands W) Hood, Jimmy
Clay, Bob Howarth, George (Knowsley N)
Clelland, David Howells, Geraint
Clwyd, Mrs Ann Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)
Cohen, Harry Hoyle, Doug
Cook, Robin (Livingston) Hughes, John (Coventry NE)
Corbyn, Jeremy Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Cousins, Jim Hughes, Simon (Southwark)
Crowther, Stan Illsley, Eric
Cryer, Bob Ingram, Adam
Cummings, John Janner, Greville
Cunliffe, Lawrence Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Cunningham, Dr John Jones, Ieuan (Ynys Môn)
Dalyell, Tam Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil
Darling, Alistair Leadbitter, Ted
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli) Lestor, Joan (Eccles)
Davies, Ron (Caerphilly) Lewis, Terry
Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l) Litherland, Robert
Dewar, Donald Livingstone, Ken
Dixon, Don Livsey, Richard
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Reid, Dr John
Lofthouse, Geoffrey Richardson, Jo
Loyden, Eddie Robertson, George
McAllion, John Robinson, Geoffrey
McAvoy, Thomas Rogers, Allan
McCartney, Ian Rowlands, Ted
Macdonald, Calum A. Ruddock, Joan
McKelvey, William Sedgemore, Brian
McLeish, Henry Sheerman, Barry
McWilliam, John Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Madden, Max Short, Clare
Mahon, Mrs Alice Skinner, Dennis
Marek, Dr John Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)
Marshall, David (Shettleston) Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)
Martin, Michael J. (Springburn) Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)
Martlew, Eric Smith, J. P. (Vale of Glam)
Maxton, John Snape, Peter
Meacher, Michael Spearing, Nigel
Meale, Alan Steinberg, Gerry
Michael, Alun Stott, Roger
Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley) Straw, Jack
Moonie, Dr Lewis Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)
Morley, Elliot Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe) Turner, Dennis
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Vaz, Keith
Mowlam, Marjorie Wallace, James
Murphy, Paul Walley, Joan
Nellist, Dave Wareing, Robert N.
Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon Watson, Mike (Glasgow, C)
O'Brien, William Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)
Patchett, Terry Williams, Rt Hon Alan
Pendry, Tom Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)
Pike, Peter L. Wilson, Brian
Powell, Ray (Ogmore) Winnick, David
Prescott, John Wise, Mrs Audrey
Primarolo, Dawn Worthington, Tony
Quin, Ms Joyce Wray, Jimmy
Radice, Giles
Randall, Stuart Tellers for the Noes:
Redmond, Martin Mr. Allen McKay and Mr. Martyn Jones.
Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn

Question accordingly agreed to.

Resolved, That the draft Education (School Teachers' Pay and Conditions) Order 1990, which was laid before this House on 11th May, be approved.