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Teachers

Volume 974: debated on Sunday 11 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) whether he is satisfied with the numbers of qualified physics teachers in schools; what were the numbers of physics teachers entering secondary schools for the years 1974 to 1979; what percentage of those teaching physics in secondary schools are unqualified in the subject; and what percentage of physics classes in secondary schools are taken by unqualified teachers;(2) what were the numbers of chemistry teachers entering secondary schools for the years 1974 to 1979; what percentage of those teaching chemistry in secondary schools are unqualified in the subject; and what percentage of chemistry classes in secondary schools are taken by unqualified teachers.

My right hon. and learned Friend is not satisfied with the number of qualified physics teachers in schools. Some of the information is not available in the form requested. The most recent information on shortage comes from the 1977 secondary school staffing survey which showed:

Percentage of teachers teaching subject without a qualification in itPercentage of all tuition given in the subject by unqualified teachers
Physics3222
Chemistry2110
The number of physics and chemistry teachers entering secondary schools between the years 1974 and 1979 is not held by the Department.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to increase the number of qualified teachers of physics and chemistry in secondary schools.

Teacher training institutions have been asked to give priority to the shortage subjects, including physics and chemistry, within the reduced training system. Retraining courses continue to be available for qualified teachers, as do Manpower Services Commission awards and grants for training and retraining mature people with appropriate backgrounds and experience to become teachers of these subjects.