HC Deb 08 May 1911 vol 25 cc994-6W

asked the President of the Board of Education if he can state approximately the number of unemployed trained teachers at the present time and the number of students who will be leaving the training colleges during the present summer; and whether, having regard to the number of students who are now entering the training colleges every year, he sees any likelihood that the excess in the number of teachers over vacancies will continuo for several years to come?


For the reasons explained in the answer I gave to the hon. Member for West Bristol on the 9th February last, it is not possible to give figures of any value as to the total number of trained teachers who are employed at any time. Perhaps I can best answer the question by giving the latest complete figures in the possession of the Board as to the employment of the teachers who left the Training Colleges in July, 1910. The date to which these figures relate is 1st January of this year in the case of all colleges except the London County Council Colleges, for which the figures relate to the 31st January. The figures show that out of a total of 5,497 students who left college in July, 1910, 4,758 (about 87 per cent.) had obtained employment in schools satisfying the undertaking by the dates named, of whom 4,256 (about 78 per cent. of the total number) were in permanent employment. 584 students (about 11 per cent.) were reported as not having obtained employment by the dates named, and of these 102 (about 2 per cent. of the total number), were reported as not seeking employment owing to illness, continuation of studies, or other reasons. There were 137 students as to whom no information was available. Since the date to which these figures refer there have been ninny further vacancies in the schools which have had to be filled, and representations which have recently reached me from local education authorities show that there is now, in some parts of the country at any rate, considerable difficulty in obtaining certificated teachers. For instance, one local education authority has informed the Board that in their experience the supply of teachers has never been so short since the Education Act of 1902 came into force. Correspondence which has passed between the Director of Education for the county of Nottingham, on the one hand, and the General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers and the Secretary of the Unemployed Teachers Committee on the other, shows that after communicating with the Unemployed Teachers Committee the Nottingham authority were only able to obtain one application for a post as certificated teacher. A copy of this correspondence was recently published in the education press. Similar representations have been received from other local education authorities, and the attention of the Board has also been directed to a serious decrease in the number of pupils applying for Bursarships with a view to entering the teaching profession. I may point out that, in order to secure that at the date when each batch of teachers leaves the training colleges a sufficient number of vacancies should be available to absorb the whole number without any interval of waiting, it would be necessary that for some considerable period antecedent to that date the schools of the country should be understaffed to a serious extent. There are considerable administrative difficulties in the way of arranging that the output of the training colleges shall come about by instalments. It happens that some local education authorities are turning out more students than are sufficient for the actual needs of their localities. This circumstance, coupled with the fact that a great many teachers prefer to wait for employment in their own neighbourhood rather than to seek employment in other places where there is a demand for their services, results in a surplus of teachers in some localities. The number of students leaving the training colleges in the present summer will probably be about 5,700.