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Teachers (Vacancies)

Volume 440: debated on Friday 25 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Education what is now the over-all shortage of men and women elementary teachers; how many places he has available in the training establishments; how many candidates he has on his waiting list; and what proportion of teachers now teaching are fully qualified.

The latest returns available showed that on 1st April last, there were 6,312 vacancies in primary schools, made up of 842 for men, 4,937 for women, and 533 which could be filled by either men or women. The capacity of the permanent training colleges and departments is best measured in terms of their annual intake of students, which for the academic year 1946-47 amounted to about 3,200 men and 7,200 women. The temporary emergency training colleges now opened provide 8,800 places for men and 2,800 places for women; these colleges offer special one-year courses for men and women who have been engaged in war service. These figures, both for permanent and emergency colleges, relate to students preparing for work in secondary as well as in primary schools, as there is no rigid distinction between the courses of training for these two forms of teaching work. My Department does not keep any list of candidates seeking admission to the permanent training colleges. There are at the present time about 17,800 men and 2,300 women who have been selected for admission to emergency training colleges and have not yet been admitted to a course of training. On 31st March, 1946, the latest date for which figures are available, 93 per cent. of the teachers in contributory service in maintained and assisted primary and secondary schools and special schools were approved as qualified teachers.