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Teachers (London Area Allowance)

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 7 April 1949

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34.

asked the Minister of Education whether he has considered the representations made to him by the staff of the Tiffin Girls' School, Kingston-upon-Thames, on the subject of their deprivation of London area allowance; and what steps he proposes to take.

41.

asked the Minister of Education whether he has now considered the claim of teachers living in the boroughs of Chingford, Woodford and Wanstead for inclusion in those areas receiving the London addition to the Burnham scales; and whether he will make a statement.

I have received various representations about the London area allowance, which it is the function of the Burnham Committee to consider in the first instance. The Committee gave it full consideration when preparing the present Report and, as I stated in the House on 20th January last, I do not find sufficient grounds for asking them to reconsider the position at present.

In view of the right hon. Gentleman's concluding observation, has he considered the representations made to him by the staff of the school referred to m my Question? The fact is that 35 per cent. of their membership actually live in areas in which the London allowance is paid to those who teach in those areas. Is it not time that the right hon. Gentleman took action in this very long delayed matter?

I know there are anomalies, but there always will be wherever a line is drawn. These teachers should approach the Burnham Committee through their association.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the areas mentioned in my Question it is not a matter of drawing a line. These are little tongues of territory entirely surrounded by areas in which the London allowance is paid. Further, it is not the teachers who are agitating but parents' associations, who say that children are suffering because teachers in these school are constantly moving to other schools?

Whether they are surrounded by other areas or not, a line must be drawn; otherwise, they would be included. As I have said, representations should be made by the teachers to the Burnham Committee through their association, and not to the Minister.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the boroughs of Wan-stead and Woodford civil servants, local authority officers and members of the Police and Fire services receive, the London weighting allowance, as do clerical and domestic staffs in the schools? It is only the teachers who do not.

This was known to the Burnham Committee when the question was considered and decided upon.

In view of the Minister's statement that the teachers should approach the Burnham Committee through their association and not through the Minister, may I ask whether the Minister did not himself give the answer to this when he said that this was not a case in which he would take the initiative and invite the attention of the Committee? Is not this just the class of case in which the right hon. Gentleman's responsibility as Minister is directly involved?

In my original answer I said that I saw no reason, in what has been put to me, for asking the Committee to consider the matter again at this time. But this does not prevent the teachers' association from making representations_

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Burnham Committee agreed at one time, that where local authorities and teachers' associations in an area agreed about the additional payments, those payments should be made in that area? Has that arrangement been discontinued?

It might have been, at one time, but it was not so in the last Report, on which the salaries are now being paid.