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Health And Education Services

Volume 981: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he is satisfied with the existing ratios of medi- cal to non-medical staffs and teachers to non-teaching staffs in the health and education services; and if he will seek to change the balance over a period in favour of the former by a progressive policy of reducing the administrative posts.

The Government have outlined their present views on the scope for improvement in the structure, organisation and management arrangements of the health and personal social services in Northern Ireland in a consultative document published on this subject last December. The Government have invited comments on the issues raised in the document and in the light of these it is hoped to be able to issue guidance to the health and social service boards next summer.In the education service the numbers of teaching and non-teaching staff are kept under constant review in the interests of efficiency. The great majority of non-teaching staff are, however, involved in activities such as the preparation of school meals, caretaking and school secretarial support which are vital for the efficient operation of schools and other institutions.