HC Deb 19 March 1985 vol 75 cc479-80W
Mr. Madel

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what arrangements he intends for in-service teacher training; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Keith Joseph

As my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in his Budget statement, additional resources amounting to £20 million in 1986–87 will be made available for in-service teacher training to promote developments across the curriculum of the kind related particularly to the technical and vocational education initiative. My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Employment, Scotland and Wales and I are inviting the Manpower Services Commission to administer this training scheme. The scheme is planned to start in 1985–86 and the MSC is being asked to provide the £5 million necessary for this purpose from within its existing resources for that year.

The scheme will be an interim arrangement pending the introduction of a reformed system of funding for in-service teacher training. The Government have considered future arrangements for in-service teacher training in the light of a report last year by the Advisory Committee on the Supply and Education of Teachers. They share the view of the advisory committee that in-service teacher training needs to be planned more systematically. They consider that resources devoted to in-service training are not always being used to the best advantage and agree with the advisory committee that a radical change is needed in the funding and organisation of in-service training. Consultation on the committee's report has shown widespread support for the case for a new funding mechanism and for more systematic planning of in-service training. The Government have concluded that the most effective way of securing these improvements would be through the introduction of a new specific grant to support LEA expenditure on most aspects of in-service teacher training, including that expenditure currently supported through the in-service training pool as well as expenditure on national priority areas. They propose therefore to take an early opportunity to introduce legislation to extend existing powers to grant-aid in-service training. The new arrangements could not come into operation until the financial year 1987–88. The scheme for TVE1-related training announced today by my right hon. Friend will make a valuable contribution to in-service training in the interim period.