HC Deb 09 March 1962 vol 655 cc98-9W
Mr. Jennings

asked the Minister of Education whether he will now make a statement about the results of his discussions with the associations of teachers and local authorities regarding the composition of the Burnham Committee and future arrangements for settling teachers' salaries.

Sir D. Eccles

I have invited the National Association of Head Teachers to appoint one, and the National Association of Schoolmasters to appoint two representatives on the Burmham Committee.

Discussions with the associations of local authorities and teachers have taken place on the nature of the legislation to give the Minister power to prescribe teachers' salaries in the event of disagreement between the two sides of the Committee or the submission of recommendations that the Minister could not accept. The associations reiterated their concern about the way in which such new powers might be related to the Government's long-term incomes policy and I have decided to postpone legislation so that its implications can be more clearly seen in that developing context.

If in the course of any negotiations that may take place during the period of postponement a deadlock were to be reached between the two sides, the Minister would have no power to resolve it by putting new scales into effect.

If the Committee were to make recommendations that were not acceptable, the Minister would have to rely on the existing power of rejection. I hope such a situation would not arise, but I have made clear to the associations that, if it did, this power would have to be used.

It is of great importance that the members of the Committee and those they represent should have as a background to their work the fullest possible information available to the Ministry relating to the supply of teachers and the needs of the schools. I have told the associations that this will be regularly provided.