§ Mr. William Ross
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has completed 272W his consideration of the views which have been submitted on his consultative paper of 17th January on teacher training from 1977 onwards; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Millan
I have now been able to give careful consideration to all the views that have been expressed both by hon. Members and by the many interests which have submitted comments on my consultative paper. My conclusions are set out in detail in a paper which has been sent to the colleges of education and other interested bodies and has been placed in the House of Commons Library.
It is clear that there must be some contraction of the teacher training system, in terms of both accommodation and staff, in view of the reduced demand for teachers in the years ahead. Before reaching final decisions on the reorganisation of the system, however, I wish to explore further with the appropriate interests certain of the proposals in my consultative paper, and also the scope for diversification in the colleges, and the alternative uses to which spare college accommodation might be put. I hope to complete these consultations and make a final statement of my conclusions later this year.
In the meantime I have decided that Craiglockhart should continue as a college of education and should not be merged with any other college.
The final decisions on the future of Callendar Park, Craigie and Dunfermline Colleges will depend on the further studies and consultations which I am to undertake.
I have also decided that there should be no change for the present in the pattern of courses leading to teaching qualifications; that the numbers of students to be admitted to courses of primary and secondary teacher training in session 1977–78 should be somewhat less than the figures which I proposed in my consultative paper; and that there should be intakes to teacher training courses in all the colleges of education that session.
I am arranging discussions with each of the colleges about their staffing requirements for next session, to cover both the existing range of college courses and developments in in-service training. I am also inviting the Joint Committee of 273W Colleges of Education to set up a committee to consider all aspects of the process of staff reduction and related matters.