HC Deb 29 January 2001 vol 362 cc30-1W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what recent survey he has undertaken on the problems of the retention of teachers working in schools in the Greater London area. [146942]

Ms Estelle Morris

The Teacher Training Agency contributed to the costs of a study by the University of North London on teacher supply and retention in London. This included surveying those leaving teaching posts in six London boroughs in 1998–99, including those moving into other teaching jobs.

The most commonly cited reasons for leaving were school management, hours worked, pupil behaviour, lack of opportunities for promotion and school resources. The Government are addressing each of these concerns. A new leadership college for headteachers and improved pay for heads have been introduced. We are tackling needless bureaucracy by reducing duplication of data requests and cutting by half the materials sent automatically to schools by the DfEE. The expansion of ICT is assisting in this regard too.

The Government are spending 10 times more than in 1996–97 on tackling poor behaviour and truancy. £174 million in 2001–02 will be used to continue a big expansion in places and standards in pupil referral units and further to improve provision of in-school learning support units. The introduction of performance-related pay will improve opportunities of promotion for tens of thousands of teachers.

Resources that were cut between 1994–97 have been significantly increased since. Schools have more resources for teachers, classroom assistants, computers, books and other priorities than in 1997. Funding per pupil will have increased by over £450 in real terms between 1997–98 and 2001–02. Capital resources this year at £2 billion are three times the level of 1996–97. The Government have made clear that there will be further increases as a result of the 2000 Spending Review in both revenue and capital.