HC Deb 13 July 1977 vol 935 cc135-6W
Mr. Keith

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations she has received from teachers in polytechnics about student sit-ins; and what reply she has given.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

I have sent the following reply to a letter from the Association of Polytechnic Teachers:

12th July 1977.

I am writing in reply to your published letter to me of 24th May about student sit-ins.

I agree of course with many of the points you make about the consequences of these disturbances for the staffs and students of the institutions in which they occur. But given that student discipline is a matter for the Governing Body and Director concerned, and that the circumstances differ, in causation and background, from one case to another, I do not believe that guidance "from the top", as you put it, is likely to be helpful. I am concerned about the impact of these events both on the staffs and students of the particular institutions, and on the general public, but I am convinced that solutions can best be found at the local level by those who have clear and direct responsibility.