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Teacher Training

Volume 982: debated on Wednesday 2 April 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has taken a decision on the number of students to be admitted to courses of teacher training in the Scottish colleges of education in session 1980–81; and if he will make a statement.

A consultative paper setting out my provisional views on the arrangements for intake to teacher training courses in session 1980–81 was issued in February to the General Teaching Council, the Convention of Scottish Local

Primary intake
DiplomaPost-graduateSecondary intake
quotaProposed quotaquotaProposed quotaquotaProposed quota
Callendar Park65451510
Moray House125903020415305
Notre Dame90652520225215
The proposed total intakes for the primary diploma and primary post-graduate courses have been allocated among the colleges so that each college receives the same proportion of the totals as in session 1979–80. The proposed total secondary intake has been apportioned between the East and West of Scotland colleges in such a way as to take account of the special staffing needs of Strathclyde region and the resulting figures have been allocated among the colleges in each group on a

pro rata basis.

In order to ensure that the selection of students for admission to courses of secondary training should have regard to education authorities' likely future needs for teachers of individual subjects I am Authorities and the Joint Committee of Colleges of Education as a basis for discussion. After carefully considering the views expressed by these bodies on all the factors involved, and in the light of estimates by education authorities of their future secondary school staffing requirements, I have decided that the total intake to pre-service courses of teacher training in session 1980–81 should not exceed 545 students for the primary diploma course, 145 for the primary postgraduate course and 1,600 for secondary courses—including BEd courses.

I am required to consult the governing body of each college before issuing directions regarding the number of students of different categories to be admitted to the college; and I am proposing to the colleges that for session 1980–81 the allocation of the total intake to pre-service courses of teacher training should be as in the following table, which also shows the quotas for session 1979–80 for comparison:

asking the colleges, in allocating places, to give highest priority to applicants seeking admission to courses leading to a teaching qualification (secondary education) in business studies, mathematics, music, physics, chemistry, religious education and technical education and lowest priority to applicants for training in English, geography, history and modern studies. On the basis of the latest information available to me, I am advising the colleges that nationally about 45 per cent. of the total intake to courses of secondary training should be students in the subjects of highest priority, but that, in the event of that percentage being exceeded, I shall be prepared to increase the overall level of intake accordingly. In order to guard against the admission of an unduly large proportion of students in the subjects of lowest priority I am asking the colleges to restrict admissions in these subjects to no more than 12 per cent. of the total secondary intake. I am also emphasising to the colleges that they should consult the education authorities in their areas with a view to ascertaining whether any departures from this general advice might be necessary in the light of local school staffing needs.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland has recommended that I should give serious consideration to a reduction in the number of colleges engaged in training teachers; and, in view of the continuing decline in the school population, I am currently examining the structure of the college system. I hope to make a further statement on this subject in due course. I do not, however, envisage, any changes in the 1980–81 session.