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Emergency Training

Volume 437: debated on Thursday 22 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Education what is the approximate proportion of those accepted over 12 months ago for training under the Emergency Training of Teachers Scheme whose training has not yet commenced; whether he is aware that Mr. G. Smith, College Road, Gildersome, near Leeds, was accepted for training in January, 1946, prior to his demobilisation in May, 1946, and has now been informed that a further substantial period of waiting is inevitable; and whether he will now give the approximate date when this training will commence.

A candidate's name is placed on the waiting list for emergency training colleges by reference to the date of his Class A release, and not the date of his acceptance, if he applied while he was still serving in the Forces. For others it depends on the date of application. Of those candidates whose names have been entered on the lists in this way up to the end of April, 1946, slightly over one-sixth had not begun their training by the beginning of May, 1947. My Department replied to Mr. Smith a fortnight ago, giving him the best possible information as to the date when he may expect to begin his training.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his Department replied to my constituent to say that a substantial period of waiting was still required? Can he say when the end of this waiting will be, and why my constituent is being singled out and placed in this one-sixth minority whose training has not commenced?

There are any number of reasons why he may be among that one-sixth minority, but the principal reason is that the number of applicants far exceeds the number of places available, and it will take time to admit them all. The success of the scheme has made it all the more necessary for the waiting period to be longer. But the date of acceptance of the individual on his Class A release has been kept stable from the beginning in order to prevent people going ahead of the queue.

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that this young man's training will commence not later than September this year?

I cannot possibly give that assurance because I may be doing an injustice to someone else in another category if I do so.