HL Deb 17 November 1981 vol 425 cc496-7WA
Lord Brockway

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What response they have made to the report of the International Labour Office which warns Governments of the permanent and irreparable damage to the teaching profession which will follow education cuts, and what is their comment on each of the series of options presented in the report to absorb surplus teachers in countries with falling birth-rates, including Britain.

Lord Elton

This report was prepared by the International Labour Organisation as a discussion document for a joint meeting on the conditions of work of teachers which was held in Geneva between 27th October and 4th November this year. Her Majesty's Government were represented at this meeting. Its conclusions will be submitted in due course to the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation.

Her Majesty's Government look to local education authorities in co-operation with their teachers to manage the contraction of the teacher force so as to minimise its impact on curricular opportunities, taking full advantages of natural wastage, early retirement and redeployment; they also recognise that the achievement of the planned reductions in teacher numbers may lead to some redundancies. The Government noted from the report that some other countries have adopted similar policies, in the light of falling pupil numbers and the need to restrain public expenditure.