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Volume 172: debated on Thursday 17 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what steps he is taking to ensure there will he sufficient numbers of mathematics and science teachers in the primary and secondary schools in Wales;(2) what efforts he is making to ensure that there will he sufficient teachers of

(a) German, (b) French, (c) Italian and (d) Spanish.

The teacher training bursary scheme provides an incentive to graduates of mathematics, chemistry, physics, technology and CDT to train as teachers. From September the scheme is to be extended to include modern foreign languages and Welsh and the level of the bursary increased to £1,500 with £2,000 for physics.A number of other measures have been introduced to increase the supply of teachers. The Welsh Office is providing financial support to enable initial teacher training institutions to run "taster" courses in shortage subjects for mature people to encourage entry or return to teaching. £116,000 is being made available through education support grant for four LEAs in Wales to support the development of measures to increase the recruitment of teachers in the shortage subjects. TASC (teaching as a career) has been established to promote teaching as a career and help local education authorities and initial teacher training institutions to mount more effective recruitment campaigns.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what initiatives he proposes to take to ensure that there will be sufficient numbers of teachers of Welsh in the primary and secondary schools of Wales.

To help meet the increased demand for Welsh teachers Welsh is being added to the list of secondary shortage subjects for which a bursary of £1,500 will be available in initial teacher training (ITT). An incentive supplement of £1,200 will be available from September this year to increase the number of students training as primary teachers through the medium of Welsh. The revised criteria for the approval of ITT courses requires that institutions in Wales should provide students on primary courses with an opportunity to learn or increase their competence in Welsh to a point where they can teach the language.We are not relying solely on new entrants to the profession however to meet this demand. Nearly £1 million is being made available this year to local education authorities to help teachers, currently teaching other subjects, develop their skills and competence in the Welsh language and to prepare them to teach the language.These initiatives have been welcomed and the response so far is very promising.