§ Mr. Speller
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what figures his Department collects on the consequences of the teachers' dispute;
(2) if he will seek information from local education authorities on the number of (a) teachers and (b) pupils involved in industrial action and the number of pupils affected.
§ Sir Keith Joseph
There are 104 LEAs in England and Wales, over 26,000 maintained schools, some 440,000 qualified teachers and approaching 8 million pupils. The Department has attempted to collect information on a regular basis concerning the nature, extent and effects of industrial action by teachers. In view of the size of the school system, variations in both the scale and effects of industrial action, the wide range of action taken from strikes to refusal to undertake certain activities inside and outside timetabled schools hours, the increasing incidence of short-notice strikes by individual teachers for periods of half an hour or less, and the manpower implications for both the Department and LEAs, it is not feasible to assemble comprehensive data.