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Dispute (South Yorkshire)

Volume 980: debated on Tuesday 4 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will carry out an inquiry into the dispute in South Yorkshire which is currently causing some children to be deprived of classroom education as a result of the enforcement of maximum numbers for classes by teachers.

I am glad to be able to inform the House that this dispute has been resolved, and that the education of children in Rotherham is no longer subject to disruption.

Does the Minister agree that it is moss regrettable that children have had to suffer disruption of their education in the classroom because of a conflict between teachers and the local education authority? Does the Minister agree that we should send our best wishes to the two parents, the teachers and the education authority? Will he ensure that in future children's education does not suffer because of any conflict that arises? If a conflict does arise, will he issue some guidelines or advice to the teachers, the parents and the local education authority to ensure—

I concur with the hon. Gentleman's remarks. All hon. Members will be glad that, after 18 months, normal schooling has returned in Rotherham. The Department was by no means idle. My noble Friend the Minister of State met both sides. She was prepared to chair a meeting of both sides. However, now that the schools have gone back we hope that the good spirit will continue and that there will be no more disruption.