§ 23. Mr. Edwin Wainwright
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in view of the fact that the lack of pooling arrangements for compensation payments to the colleges of education staff who have been or will be made redundant as a result of decisions taken by her Department will create a heavy cost to the local authorities involved, if she will take steps to remove any such financial liability.
§ Mr. Oakes
My right hon. Friend hopes to find an early opportunity to amend Schedule 2 to the Local Government Act 1974 which at present unduly restricts the pooling of compensation and safeguarding payments made by local education authorities.
§ 43. Mr. Newens
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the total number of qualified teachers who are currently unemployed; and what are the subjects or areas in which there are significant numbers of vacancies.
§ Miss Margaret Jackson
In September, 11,787 people were registered by the Department of Employment as unemployed and seeking posts as school teachers. My Department does not keep lists of vacancies, but local education authorities are invited each summer to inform us if there are any types of teaching post for which they would welcome more applicants. The majority of those which replied last summer recently 167W reported vacancies in secondary schools for teachers of mathematics and in craft, design and technology.
§ 46. Mr. Flannery
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in view of falling birth rates, she will take the opportunity in the near future to use unemployed teachers and teachers having to work in other non-teaching work to bring down class sizes, thus further improving the quality of education.
§ Mrs. Shirley Williams
The rate support grant settlement for 1978–79 provides for the employment of additional teachers to improve staffing standards in schools for children in deprived areas, to allow further expansion of induction and in-service training, and to give local education authorities an operating margin to prevent a decline in educational standards as school rolls fall. The settlement implies a growth of about 7,500 in the teacher force in the next school year despite the fall in pupil numbers. This should represent a reduction in the number of teachers who would otherwise be unemployed or engaged in non-teaching work.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps she proposes to take to secure employment for newly qualified teachers.
§ Mrs. Shirley Williams
If teacher numbers were to follow the school population the number of teachers would fall in 1978–79 by 3,700 to 459,500. In fact the RSG settlement provides for the employment of 1,000 additional teachers in deprived areas, of 3,500 additional teachers to allow for the further expansion of induction and in-service training, and of 6,800 additional teachers as an operating margin to prevent a decline in standards as school rolls fall. This provision will widen employment opportunities for newly qualified teachers.