§ Mr. Molloy
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what further consideration he has given to the representations which have been made to him about the phasing out of unqualified teachers from maintained schools by 31st August, 1970; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Edward Short:
I have reviewed this matter very carefully in the light of the representations which I have received from hon. Members and others. My conclusion is that it would not be right to initiate discussions at this late stage with the associations of local authorities and teachers, neither of which has approached me, about a modification of the 1968 agreement, which provided for the phasing out by 31st August of the unqualified teachers still in service, with the exception of uncertificated and supplementary teachers who receive qualified teacher status after 20 years' service.
There are well established procedures by which a local authority can recommend me to confer qualified teacher status exceptionally in individual cases. In this final period 1 shall treat such recommendations as sympathetically as possible, in particular where the employing authority represents that a teacher's service over a long period in the schools, including attendance at in-service training, and in the local community should be allowed to compensate for some shortfall in academic attainment. For example, I shall normally be prepared to give qualified teacher status on the basis of an authority's recommendation supported by 20 years of satisfactory teaching service or by 15 years where there is also clear evidence of continued study to a satisfactory standard.