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Volume 437: debated on Thursday 8 May 1947

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Young Children (Teachers)


asked the Minister of Education what steps are being taken to improve recruitment for work in infant and nursery schools.

The first essential step is to extend facilities for training and this is being (lone so far as possible. The women's training colleges, both emergency and permanent, are being expanded and more attention is being given to the training of teachers for work with young children. I am discussing with the Interim Committee for Teachers what further steps can be taken to secure that more students are admitted for this form of work and what other measures can be taken to make this branch of the teaching service more attractive.

In view of the very grave shortage that exists for teachers for young children, will my right hon. Friend take steps to visit secondary schools to see, whether girls can be recruited?

It is no use recruiting at this stage unless we have somewhere to put the recruits. It is not that we are short of applicants but rather that we are short of training places for them.

If I could direct the attention of my right hon. Friend to houses which would be suitable would he have a look at them?

We are already taking houses at a very rapid rate with a view to turning them into emergency colleges. This question is being looked at with that in mind.

Emergency Training (Completed Courses)


asked the Minister of Education how many students have completed a course of training in the teachers emergency training colleges since their inception; how many satisfied the examiners; and how many successful trainees have been absorbed into teaching posts.

Up to the 24th April, 1947, 2,514 students completed a course of training under the Emergency Training Scheme. Of these students only 12 were not adjudged to have completed the course satisfactorily, but a considerably larger number were withdrawn from the courses before they were completed. I am satisfied that practically all the teachers who were qualified through the emergency scheme have found teaching posts. The latest returns which I have received covering four of the colleges, show that out of 681 students only three were known not to have obtained posts two months after the end of the course.

Can my right hon. Friend give any idea of the proportion of these emergency trainees who have gone into senior schools?

School Records


asked the Minister of Education what special information is to be collected by teachers concerning their pupils; if he will ensure that the information is kept secret and up to what age it is to be taken; and, if the information covers more than the health records of each child, if he will give instructions that no references to the political views of parents will be recorded.

For the purposes of the school medical records of children, the only particulars which teachers are asked to supply are the name, age and address of the child, the name of the school he attends and records of his school attendance and educational progress. I do not prescribe forms of school record for other purposes, but I am proposing shortly to give some guidance to local education authorities and teachers about the scope and content of school records. There can be no question of teachers being asked to refer to the political views of parents.

When further action is taken in reference to the homes of parents, will my right hon. Friend ensure that that information is not given without the knowledge of the parents?

Technical College Teachers (Salaries)


asked the Minister of Education if he is aware that a teacher in a London technical college, promoted to the new senior assistant scale on 1st April, 1945, was awarded a correct position ££73 lower than he could reasonably have attained if not promoted, lower also than the position held previously on the graduate scale; and, as this violates the spirit of Clause 13 (b) (I) of the Burnham Technical Report, if he will take steps to remedy this injustice.

I assume that the particular case the hon. Member has in mind is that about which she has previously written to me. On the facts available, the salary for this teacher has been correctly assessed and could be altered only after amendment of the relevant Burnham Report. It rests with the Burnham Committee to make any recommendations for amendment of their reports.


asked the Minister of Education what action he proposes to remedy the grievances of teachers in technical colleges who were on the maximum of the assistant scale with ££100 for special responsibility and who were promoted to the senior assistant scale on 1st April, 1946, but were awarded no increment on promotion, although under Clause 13 (b) (I) they should have been appointed at the next higher point on the senior assistant scale, namely ££650.

I should be glad if my hon. Friend would furnish me with details of any cases of the type to which she refers, since I am not aware that salaries are being assessed by local education authorities on the basis described.

Would the Minister look into the case I have sent to him, because there the man is receiving less under this new scale than he had previously?

Yes, but that is just an individual case and it is an anomaly which arises from a decision having been made between two decisions of the Burnham Committee. I am going into it at the moment.

Out-Of-School Activities


asked the Minister of Education whether a local education authority when advertising for assistant teachers is acting in accordance with the policy of his Department in insisting on out-of-school activities.

Under paragraph 4 (3) of the Second Schedule to the Primary and Secondary Schools (Grant Conditions) Regulations a teacher may not be required to perform any duties except such as are connected with the work of the school.

Is the Minister aware that the teaching profession have never quibbled about doing outside work, but they resent having it as a stipulation? If I bring a case to his notice, will he inform the authority concerned that this should not be done?

I will certainly look at it, but the phrase "out-of-school activities" is a wide one, and there may be some discussion as to what are out-of-school activities and what are not.

May I ask d the ban on demanding a certain amount of out-of-school activity applies also to getting a teacher to take part in a youth service, which is necessarily a part of a local education authority's activities?

That depends upon the interpretation of the term "out-of-school activities," and whether the youth service is associated definitely with the school.

School Allowances, Cardiff


asked the Minister of Education the rate of grant per child allotted by the Cardiff authority for children over the age of II years in unreorganised schools; and what is the comparative rate of grant for Cardiff secondary schools.

I understand that the allowance made by the Cardiff authority in respect of books, stationery and equipment for children over II years of age in unreorganised schools is at the rate of 10s. per child. The corresponding allowances for secondary schools which are all grammar schools are at the rate of 14s. per child for text-books and 28s. per child for other books, stationery and office expenses.

Is the Minister aware that the children who are over the age of II in these schools which the authority fail to reorganise, are allowed 10s. a head, and the total for the children in secondary grammar schools is £2 10s. a head, and does he think this is satisfactory?

No, and I think that with the raising of the school-leaving age, a demand for the higher figure will be made by those below it.

School Reorganisation, Cardiff


asked the Minister of Education whether, in order to give the schoolchildren of Cardiff the benefits of free secondary education under the 1944 Act, he will consult with the Cardiff authority with a view, as a temporary measure, to reorganising their schools within the existing accommodation.

Until new secondary schools can be built under the development plan, I should be happy to consider suitable proposals for temporary reorganisation within existing accommodation, and I am informing the authority accordingly.



asked the Minister of Education what percentage of 12-year old boys educated under the national system will, during the current term, be learning French. German and Latin, respectively.

The content of the curriculum is primarily a matter for the school authorities and no statistics are available showing the numbers and ages of pupils taking particular subjects.

Dartmouth College (Standard)


asked the Minister of Education what percentage of 12-year-old boys educated under the national system will, during the current term, be educated on a curriculum which will enable them to succeed in the examination held at the age of 13 years in order to select candidates for the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.

On the basis on which entry to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, is at present determined, the field of potential candidates from schools within the national system is limited to pupils receiving a grammar school type of education who are taking the particular subjects required in the examination. The number of the latter is not known but the percentage of boys in the 12 year age group who are in grammar schools is approximately 28.7.

Is not that further evidence of the wisdom of the announcement made yesterday?

Teachers (Intake)


asked the Minister of Education what was the intake of teachers into the schools under his control during January, February and March, respectively.

Separate figures for each month are not available. The figures for the quarter ending 31st March last are at present being analysed and I will send them to the hon. Member as soon as they are ready.

Size Of Classes


asked the Minister of Education the present average size of, the classes in the schools under his control and the estimated increase as a result of the raising of the school age.

The average size or classes in primary and secondary schools as a whole was 33.5 in January, 1946, the last date for which figures are yet available. Since my plans for increasing the number of teachers provide for more than sufficient teachers for the extra age group, this figure will be progressively reduced in the next few years.

I asked in the second part of my Question what is the increase that the right hon. Gentleman thinks will take place.

I could not give it without further notice, except to the extent which I -have already indicated.

British Teachers, United States (Allowance)


asked the Minister of Education what extra allowances he is granting to British teachers now in the U.S.A., under an exchange arrangement, in view of the rapidly rising cost of living in the U.S.A.

A grant of £75 has been paid to each teacher in respect of the current academic year. No grant has been given in previous years, and I am not prepared to give an additional grant to the teachers who are at present in the United States.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this grant does not catch up with rising prices in the United States, and is it not undesirable that these teachers, who are unofficial ambassadors of this country, should be reduced to the position of poor relations owing to the insane abandonment of price controls by the Washington administration?

There has been a readjustment since the teachers went, and a grant was made. The grant for next year is being considered. I think it would be impossible to change grants every time there was a change in the cost of living.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a teacher who went from my constituency under this scheme not only has found it quite impossible to travel in the. United States, and thereby cannot get the best benefit from her tour, but is also having to do work in the evenings in order to maintain herself?

I am receiving reports on what is taking place, but I would point out that they have not gone on a joy ride.