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Teacher Training

Volume 19: debated on Tuesday 2 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has taken a decision on the number of students to be admitted to courses of teacher training in Scottish colleges of education in session 1982–83; and if he will make a statement.

I am glad to be able to say that it has been possible to reach decisions on this matter substantially earlier than in previous years.I have decided that the total intake to pre-service courses of teacher training in session 1982–83 should not exceed 480 students for the primary diploma course, 100 for the primary post-graduate course and 1,000 for secondary courses—including BEd degree courses. I have taken these decisions after carefully considering comments made by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, the General Teaching Council for Scotland and the Joint Committee of Colleges of Education in Scotland on the provisional arrangements for intake as set out in a consultative paper which was issued to them in December as a basis for discussion. I have also taken account of views expressed by some individual colleges of education and of estimates by education authorities of their secondary school staffing requirements.I am now 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 1982–83 the allocation of the overall levels of intake mentioned above should be as in the following table:

CollegePrimary IntakeSecondary Intake
Proposed Diploma Course QuotasProposed Post-graduate Course QuotasProposed Quotas
Moray House9518190
St. Andrew's9520160
I intend to continue the practice of offering advice to the colleges of education on the priority to be given to the selection of candidates for training in certain secondary school subjects. I am asking the colleges in selecting students in session 1982–83 to give highest priority to applicants seeking admission to courses leading to a teaching qualification (secondary education) in business studies, mathematics and physics and lowest priority to applicants for training in biology, geography, history and modern studies. In regard to the remaining subjects, I am asking the colleges to give priority to those seeking admission to training in music, religious education and technical education.On the basis of the most up-to-date information available to me, I am advising the colleges that about 30 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 subject of lowest priority I am asking the colleges to admit no more students in these subjects than they did in session 1981–82. 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.