§ Mr. Sumberg
asked the secretary of State for Education and Science what further action the Government plan to take to promote opportunities for in-service training for GCSE teachers.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
From the beginning of the next academic year, the Education (School Teachers' Pay and Conditions of Employment) Order 1987 provides that teachers will be available for work on five days a year beyond those days on which they will be required to teach pupils. It will be for schools and local education authorities to decide how best to use those five days. The Government expect that a substantial part of the available time will be devoted to in-service training, including training related to GCSE.
The Government's monitoring of the introduction of the GCSE has shown that for schools and teachers the provision of two days' closure for GCSE in-service training last summer term was helpful. Many local education authorities, schools and teachers think it would be beneficial if a similar provision during the present academic year was provided, before the second and final year of the first GCSE courses begins in September.
The Government have therefore decided to make further, special provision in the intervening period before 297W the new conditions of service come into force. Accordingly, my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Education and Science and for Wales have today laid before the House regulations which amend the number of days on which a school shall meet, consequential to the Education (School Teachers' Pay and Conditions of Employment) Order 1987, and also enable local education authorities in England and Wales to close their schools to pupils for one day before 31 July 1987 in order to allow teaching staff to undertake GCSE in-service training.