HC Deb 29 November 1962 vol 668 cc94-6W
Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give details of the response of Scottish schools to the questionnaire, sent out by the Annan Committee, regarding the teaching of Russian; and how many of the schools that replied were non-fee-paying.

Mr. Noble

The questionnaire and the replies to it were not handled by my Department, but of the 39 secondary departments which in 1960 were teaching Russian, 23 were non-fee-paying.

Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what action he has taken to sponsor research into the teaching of Russian in schools, as recommended by the Annan Report, with particular reference to paragraph 109 of the Report;

(2) what proposals he has, following the publication of the Hayter and Annan Reports, for the establishment of language institutes for the teaching of Russian;

(3) what steps he has taken, following the receipt of the Annan Report, with particular reference to paragraphs 55, 61, and 79, to facilitate the training of teachers in Russian; and if he will enable language teachers to be given leave from schools to take refresher courses in Russian;

(4) if he will propose measures to advance the promotion of those currently teaching Russian in Scottish schools to heads of department, regardless of the small number of pupils at present in their department;

(5) if he will, in accordance with the recommendation of the Annan Report, authorise examinations and encourage courses in Russian in schools and technical and commercial colleges;

(6) what steps he is taking, in the light of paragraphs 74, 105 and 156 of the Annan Report, to improve facilities and arrangements for the teaching of Russian in schools, with particular reference to the supply of tape records and the use of television;

(7) what steps he is taking to increase the number of teachers of Russian, particularly women, in the light of paragraph 28 of the Annan Report; what study he is making of the number of women in Scotland who speak Russian and are willing to teach; and if he will seek to arrange with the Soviet Government for the loan of English-speaking Russian teachers to work in Scottish schools.

Mr. Noble

These and other specific recommendations of the Annan Committee are under consideration with the educational interests concerned, but I am not yet in a position to make a detailed statement on the various practical steps involved.

Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many schools offer Russian courses; how many have abandoned such courses; and how many pupils in their third, fourth, fifth and sixth years, respectively, are studying Russian.

Mr. Noble

Last session Russian was taught in 40 schools. Two schools which had previously provided courses were no longer doing so. The numbers of pupils in each year were as follows: third year 197, fourth year 144, fifth year 93, and sixth year 112 respectively.

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