§ Mr. Corrie
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his latest estimate of the shortages of teachers of mathematics, physics and technical education in secondary schools; whether he considers that any additional measures are necessary to increase teacher supply in these subjects; and if he will make a statement.272W
§ Mr. Younger
Information from the annual school census shows that at September 1981 the estimated net deficits of teachers of mathematics, physics and technical education were 53, 56 and 65 respectively.
I am glad to be able to say that, as a result of measures taken in recent years to improve teacher supply in the main shortage subjects, there has been a substantial reduction in the net deficits between 1979 and 1981. Nevertheless, I have asked the colleges of education to continue to regard mathematics and physics as subjects of highest priority in selecting students for admission to teacher training courses in session 1982–83; because of the large number of students admitted to 3-year and 4-year courses of teacher training in technical education since session 1979–80 this subject will now be given slightly lower priority.
I am hopeful that the net deficits will have been largely eliminated by the mid-1980s. In these circumstances, I do not consider that there is any present need to introduce additional measures to increase teacher supply in these subjects, although I shall continue to keep a close watch on the situation.