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Newcastle Upon Tyne Polytechnic

Volume 929: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether in the light of her proposals for future provision of teacher training in the North-East at Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic she is satisfied with the availability of religious study courses which are currently offered at St. Mary's College, Fenham.

The present provision for the training of teachers of religious education in Newcastle Polytechnic would not replace the courses at St. Mary's. Additions to the Polytechnic provision, within the 250 extra places proposed will be a matter for consideration within the region.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she is satisfied that adequate provision can be made at Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic for in-service teacher training, following the proposed closure of St. Mary's and Northumberland Colleges of Further Education.

My right hon. Friend's proposals provide for a substantial increase in the teacher training provision at Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic, from 650 to 900 places. Within the increased figure, 200 places would be available for in-service training. The detailed arrangements for in-service training in the area, including any supplementation of the provision available in the Polytechnic and in the University of Newcastle School of Education, would be a matter for consideration by the local education authorities in consultation with the Polytechnic and the University.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action she will take to prevent the uneven distribution of voluntary colleges in the North following the closure of St. Mary's College, Fenham.

My right hon. Friend's proposals aim at maintaining the existing balance between maintained and voluntary college provision nationally. The distribution of voluntary institutions among and within the regions must, however, take account of the number of teacher training places available, the location of the existing colleges and the overall needs of the regions, and will inevitably result in some unevenness.