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Volume 975: debated on Monday 3 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many teachers were employed in Wales in 1978–79 and how many are assumed to be employed in 1980–81, based on the assumptions underlying Cmnd. 7746, "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1980–81"?

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given on 9 November by my right hon. Friend.

I do not have the advantage of having that answer with me. Since the White Paper clearly indicates that there will be 21,000 fewer teachers in post next year as opposed to last, can the hon. Gentleman say how many of those 21,000 will be found from among teachers in Wales?

The White Paper does not refer only to England and Wales. The figure for England and Wales is 18,000.In determining the rate support grant we have assumed that the teacher force in England and Wales will fall by 3·7 per cent. between 1978–79 and 1980–81. Over the same period pupil numbers will fall by 4·7 per cent. I cannot give the hon. Gentleman separate figures for Wales. I can only give the figures for England and Wales. However, I can add that the pupil-teacher ratio next year should remain at its present best ever level of 18·7 to 1. Therefore, when we talk about the number of teachers employed we must take into consideration the falling rolls in our schools.