HC Deb 16 June 1965 vol 714 cc86-7W
Mr. Armstrong

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what advice he has received on teacher supply from the National Advisory Council on the Training and Supply of Teachers; and when he will publish their Report.

Mr. Crosland

The Council's Ninth Report will be published tomorrow. It contains a valuable analysis and forecast of the demand for and supply of teachers over the next twenty years and brings out the need for further action to increase the teacher force and reduce the size of classes. The Report's principal recommendation is for a more rapid expansion of the colleges of education. But the Council was not unanimous on how to link this expansion with increased productivity from the colleges, nor did it express a common view on other radical measures of the kind I mentioned at Douglas on 20th April as part of my 14-point programme.

The Chairman of the Council, Mr. A. L. C. Bullock, has offered me his resignation, which I have accepted. He took this occasion to resign because he has begun a period of Sabbatical leave and because the completion of the Ninth Report offered a convenient opportunity to end his term of office. He told me, as he told the Council, that the divisions which had become apparent within the Council did not arise simply from differences of opinion which an independent Chairman might hope to reconcile, but were the outcome of fundamental conflicts of interest about issues of national policy which required decision at the political level. He has accordingly recommended that in future a Minister should act as Chairman of the Council rather than an independent person, as has hitherto been the practice. I shall think further about this suggestion on which others in the educational world will of course also have views.