§ Miss Fookes
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are her plans for the extension of compulsory professional training for teachers.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
I have made today and shall lay before the House as soon as practicable the Schools (Qualified Teachers) Regulations 1973, further amending Regulation 16 of the Schools Regulations 1959. In pursuance of the new regulations a person who acquires an 291W approved "special qualification", of which a degree of a university in the British Isles or of the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) is the most important, after 31st December 1973 will not be accepted as a qualified teacher unless he has also satisfactorily completed an approved course of professional training. Thus the requirement of prior professional training, which already applies in relation to teaching in maintained primary and special schools to persons who acquired a degree or other approved "special qualification" after 31st December 1969, will now be extended to teaching in maintained secondary schools with a critical date of acquisition of the "special qualification" of 1st January 1974.
There is, however, a continuing and still serious shortage in the secondary schools of specialist teachers of certain subjects. The new regulations therefore allow a person who acquires an approved "special qualification" after 31st December 1973 still to be accepted as a qualified teacher in a maintained secondary school where the qualification is one for the time being recognised by the Secretary of State as one in a subject for the teachers of which there is a special need.
I propose so to recognise for the time being degrees of universities in the British Isles and of the CNAA in which degree-level study of mathematics or of the physical or life sciences forms a substantial element, and the qualifications listed in section V of appendix 3 to my Department's circular 10/71. I look to employers to appoint untrained persons under the new regulations only where the supply situation makes it unavoidable ; and to make special arrangements for the induction and in-service training of teachers so appointed in order to compensate for their lack of initial training.
The circular will be revised and reissued as soon as possible. My Department's office (TSQ) in Darlington will be ready to give guidance in doubtful cases.