Skip to main content

Teachers' Dispute

Volume 86: debated on Thursday 14 November 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many representations he has received about teachers' pay and conditions from teachers opposed to striking in order to further their current pay claim; and if he will make a statement.

Since the school teachers' disruptive action began last February, the Department has received some 7,500 letters on the subject and it has not been possible to classify the representations by author and subject. However, many teachers and one teachers' association, the Professional Association of Teachers, have made clear to me their opposition to strikes and to other and equally damaging forms of action specifically designed to cause maximum disruption of pupils' education at minimum cost to those engaging in the disruption. I recognise that many teachers have resorted to such action only with great reluctance but my respect is for those who have continued to put the interests of the children first. I look forward to a settlement of the dispute which will define the extent of teachers' professional duties, reform their career structure and facilitate improved professional development linked with more appropriate in-service training, open up greater promotion opportunities and raise pay levels for good teachers.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the response he has made to representations made to him by parents about the consequences of disruptive action by teachers in schools.

I share parents' deep concern at the damaging and inexcusable disruption being done to their children's education as a result of the industrial action being taken by members of the three largest school teacher unions. The Government's efforts have been and will continue to be directed towards a satisfactory and lasting settlement based upon improved levels of pay, a new career and promotion structure and the definition of teachers' professional duties.