asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what considerations she has given to setting up a Teachers' Council.
My right hon. Friend remains ready to consider, in consultation with other interests, any agreed proposals which the teachers' associations may put forward.
May I press the Minister and ask her whether there is a strong case for a disciplinary body to control the standards of those entering the teaching profession and for the general disciplining of the profession?
It has always been our view that it is possible to make progress on the proposals which have been outstanding since the working party's report in 1970. Unfortunately, it has not been possible for the parties concerned to reach agreement among themselves about the form the council should take. Until that is done, there is little purpose of any further meetings on the subject.
Would the council be able to deal with the strike action of Oxfordshire teachers? This industrial action of the Oxfordshire teachers has caused great trouble in the education service and has affected the education of children. Will she use her influence to ask them to call off their action?
Since there are no proposals for a council, I cannot say whether it would be able to assist in such a case. Although the dispute is a matter between the local authorities and the teachers, we hope that it will be resolved, and we are willing to see people from Oxfordshire at any time if they want to come to the Department.