HC Deb 25 March 1986 vol 94 cc414-5W
Mrs. McCurley

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has reached decisions on the arrangements for intake to teacher training courses at Scottish colleges of education in 1986–87; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rifkind

Provisional arrangements suggested in a discussion paper issued by my Department have been the subject of consultation with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the General Teaching Council for Scotland and the Joint Committee of Colleges of Education in Scotland. In the light of views expressed by these bodies, comments from individual colleges of education and other organisations, and education authorities' estimates of their future secondary school staffing requirements, I have now decided that the total numbers of students to be admitted to pre-service teacher training courses in session 1986–87 should be 600 to the four-year primary BEd degree course, 300 to the one-year primary postgraduate course and 600 to secondary courses (on the basis that this last figure may be exceeded, if necessary, in order to admit any additional suitable applicants in mathematics, physics and business studies).

I am seeking the comments of the governing body of each college on the following proposed quotas within the overall levels mentioned above:

In regard to secondary intake, I am advising the college to give priority in session 1986–87 to students applying for admission to courses leading to a Teaching Qualification (Secondary Education) in business studies, mathematics, physics, chemistry, computing and religious education; and in regard to mathematics, physics and business studies in particular I am asking the colleges concerned to admit within their quotas the same numbers as in the current Session (for business studies the 1984–85 Session) and advising them that thereafter any additional numbers admitted will be over and above their quotas. I am also reminding each college of the need to consult the education authorities which it mainly serves in order to ensure that the numbers admitted both in individual priority subjects and in other subjects appropriately reflect regional needs.

These arrangements are without prejudice to any decisions about the structure of the college of education sector which I may in due course taking following my consultations on the report by the Scottish Tertiary Education Advisory Council on a future strategy for higher education in Scotland (Cmnd. 9676).