HC Deb 05 December 2001 vol 376 c428W
Patrick Mercer

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans her Department has to reduce the number of primary and secondary school teacher vacancies. [20627]

Mr. Timms

We have put in place a range of measures to boost the recruitment and retention of teachers including: £6,000 training bursaries for graduates starting postgraduate teacher training and £4,000 "Golden Hellos" for those who train in and go on to teach shortage subjects; above-inflation pay increases for the third year running; measures to encourage returners back into teaching such as "refresher" courses with training grants of up to £150 a week and child care for those taking part; and £33 million extra funding distributed direct to those schools in the areas with the highest vacancies to put in place local initiatives. These are starting to pay off with 12,500 more teachers than in 1998 and an increase in the number entering teachers training for the second year running. We are also working on a scheme that will pay off, over a set period of time, the student loans of new teachers who enter and remain in state education and we are determined to tackle issues about teacher workload. It is all part of our strategy of recruitment, retention and reward that will deliver 10,000 extra teachers and 20,000 more support staff over the Parliament.