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Mr. Straw : Will the Minister clear up what she said to the Secondary Heads Association, because I understand that she said she was misreported? The report of her speech quotes her as saying that we really need

"to nail this myth that teaching has difficulty in securing recruits and in retaining them when it does secure them." Was that report accurate? If not, what did she say?

Mrs. Rumbold : I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman did not hear what I said at the beginning. What I said to the Secondary Heads Association was that the myth that teaching is not an attractive option was something that I wanted to nail. That is what I actually said. I cannot help

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it if the reporters do not hear me. I cannot help it if the secondary heads heard something else. Sometimes it is impossible to have discussions with people who do not wish to hear the messages one is putting across, and that includes, I have to say, Opposition Members.

I return to what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Buckingham. He made a very good point on the issue of the status of teachers, because it is important that the image of teachers is improved in the eyes of the parents and the employers, as well as those of the children. I have some sympathy with his views of children who watch too much television. My hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Mr. Baldry) was right to say that my right hon. Friend has admiration for and offers congratulations on the efforts and dedication of the teaching profession. I am sad that the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery) does not recognise this and complains that Ministers frequently do not congratulate or offer kind words to teachers. Sometimes I fear that it is like having a dialogue with the deaf to tell him what we are saying.

My hon. Friend the Member for Banbury was right to say there has been a reversal in some of the shortage subjects. As I have just said, the Times Educational Supplement last week mentioned a maths teacher who cannot get a job and my hon. Friend mentioned the shortage of teachers at his son's school, saying that when he discussed the matter with other parents many people came forward. I congratulate him on his interesting example of the London borough of Croydon which managed to recruit 12 good honours graduates for teaching science. That emphasises the point we have been making for several months that local education authorities that take trouble and are determined can recruit high-quality teachers who can make good contributions.

The right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney (Mr. Shore) talked of teacher shortages in Tower Hamlets. I acknowledge that there has been a problem and we are certainly discussing the matter with Tower Hamlets and considering proposals to tackle the problem in April 1990 when in becomes a local education authority. As the right hon. Gentleman pointed out, the local authority has managed to improve the numbers of children not in school from a regrettable 450 to about 250. Of course, I fully acknowledge that the new local education authorities will do everything to improve greatly that situation, which must be tackled properly.

The hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) talked about the new challenges for teachers. He was absolutely correct to say that many teachers face a great deal of new work and new challenges in the classroom and in the management of their schools. But I do not accept the hon. Gentleman's view of the difficulties that that will present to teachers' morale. The GCSE demonstrated that teachers' morale was improved because they felt that together with the pupils, the parents and the employers, the effort that they put in to making that examination a great success was rewarded by the general public's approbation, by the parents' approbation and by the children's view that it was worth working hard at school. The new challenges that will be part of the teaching profession in future will be the teaching of national curriculum subjects, and the management of schools. All those matters will be undertaken in training and in-service training, but, most importantly, in talking to teachers so that they feel that it will be part of a morale-raising operation.

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Mr. Simon Hughes : I do not doubt what the Minister of State said. I was arguing not that those challenges are damaging to morale, but that because of those challenges the rewards need to be greater and that because such challenges demand time, effort and activity there must be some compensation or teachers will not feel they can do all that we ask of them.

Mrs. Rumbold : I understand what the hon. Gentleman is saying. No doubt that will be part and parcel of the outcome of the extra effort that is made. However, I have to say to the hon. Gentleman and to the hon. Member for Hillsborough that their objections to licensed teachers are rather sad. I believe that my right hon. Friend's suggestions for licensed teachers will improve the quality of people who enter the classroom at qualified teacher status. Instead of people coming to the classroom and receiving qualified teacher status without any experience, licensed teachers will be graduates or have higher education qualifications and will receive at least two years' training within the classroom. That is extremely important. We currently employ people who are not able to receive such training and who take up posts in schools without any teaching experience. The opposition to my right hon. Friend's many initiatives to combat teacher shortages is quite incomprehensible. It cannot make sense to highlight areas where there are shortages of specialist teachers but then to rubbish every single idea to help alleviate the problem. The bursary scheme has helped to tackle teacher shortages in special subjects and the teaching as a career team in the Department of Education and Science has had considerable success in its roadshows and its advertising campaign to make sure that people come forward to be new teachers.

Many of the other proposals my right hon. Friend has outlined today prove that our Department is working hard to improve the supply of teachers. I ask the House to support the amendment.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question :--

The House divided : Ayes 181, Noes 262.

Division No. 183] [10 pm.


Abbott, Ms Diane

Anderson, Donald

Archer, Rt Hon Peter

Armstrong, Hilary

Ashley, Rt Hon Jack

Ashton, Joe

Banks, Tony (Newham NW)

Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)

Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)

Barron, Kevin

Battle, John

Beckett, Margaret

Beggs, Roy

Bell, Stuart

Benn, Rt Hon Tony

Bermingham, Gerald

Bidwell, Sydney

Blunkett, David

Boateng, Paul

Bray, Dr Jeremy

Brown, Gordon (D'mline E)

Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)

Brown, Ron (Edinburgh Leith)

Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)

Buchan, Norman

Buckley, George J.

Caborn, Richard

Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)

Campbell-Savours, D. N.

Cartwright, John

Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)

Clay, Bob

Cohen, Harry

Cook, Robin (Livingston)

Corbett, Robin

Corbyn, Jeremy

Cousins, Jim

Crowther, Stan

Cryer, Bob

Cummings, John

Cunliffe, Lawrence

Dalyell, Tam

Darling, Alistair

Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)

Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'l)

Dewar, Donald

Dixon, Don

Dobson, Frank

Doran, Frank

Douglas, Dick

Dunnachie, Jimmy

Eadie, Alexander

Eastham, Ken

Evans, John (St Helens N)

Column 120

Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)

Fatchett, Derek

Faulds, Andrew

Fearn, Ronald

Field, Frank (Birkenhead)

Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)

Fisher, Mark

Flannery, Martin

Foot, Rt Hon Michael

Foster, Derek

Fraser, John

Fyfe, Maria

Galbraith, Sam

Galloway, George

Garrett, John (Norwich South)

Garrett, Ted (Wallsend)

Godman, Dr Norman A.

Golding, Mrs Llin

Gordon, Mildred

Gould, Bryan

Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)

Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)

Grocott, Bruce

Hardy, Peter

Harman, Ms Harriet

Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy

Henderson, Doug

Hinchliffe, David

Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)

Holland, Stuart

Home Robertson, John

Howarth, George (Knowsley N)

Howells, Dr. Kim (Pontypridd)

Hughes, John (Coventry NE)

Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)

Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)

Hughes, Simon (Southwark)

Hume, John

Ingram, Adam

Janner, Greville

Jones, Ieuan (Ynys Mo n)

Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil

Kirkwood, Archy

Lambie, David

Lamond, James

Leighton, Ron

Lestor, Joan (Eccles)

Lewis, Terry

Litherland, Robert

Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)

McAllion, John

McAvoy, Thomas

Macdonald, Calum A.

McFall, John

McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)

McKelvey, William

McLeish, Henry

Maclennan, Robert

McNamara, Kevin

McWilliam, John

Madden, Max

Mahon, Mrs Alice

Marek, Dr John

Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)

Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)

Martlew, Eric

Meacher, Michael

Meale, Alan

Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)

Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)

Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)

Morley, Elliott

Morris, Rt Hon A. (W'shawe)

Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)

Mowlam, Marjorie

Mullin, Chris

Murphy, Paul

Nellist, Dave

Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon

O'Neill, Martin

Orme, Rt Hon Stanley

Patchett, Terry

Pike, Peter L.

Powell, Ray (Ogmore)

Prescott, John

Primarolo, Dawn

Quin, Ms Joyce

Radice, Giles

Randall, Stuart

Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn

Richardson, Jo

Roberts, Allan (Bootle)

Robertson, George

Robinson, Geoffrey

Rogers, Allan

Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)

Ruddock, Joan

Sedgemore, Brian

Sheerman, Barry

Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert

Shore, Rt Hon Peter

Short, Clare

Skinner, Dennis

Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)

Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)

Soley, Clive

Spearing, Nigel

Steel, Rt Hon David

Stott, Roger

Strang, Gavin

Straw, Jack

Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)

Taylor, Matthew (Truro)

Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)

Turner, Dennis

Vaz, Keith

Wall, Pat

Wallace, James

Wardell, Gareth (Gower)

Wareing, Robert N.

Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)

Wigley, Dafydd

Williams, Rt Hon Alan

Wilson, Brian

Winnick, David

Worthington, Tony

Wray, Jimmy

Tellers for the Ayes :

Mr. Frank Haynes and

Mr. Martyn Jones.


Aitken, Jonathan

Alexander, Richard

Allason, Rupert

Amery, Rt Hon Julian

Amess, David

Amos, Alan

Arbuthnot, James

Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)

Ashby, David

Atkins, Robert

Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)

Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)

Baldry, Tony

Banks, Robert (Harrogate)

Batiste, Spencer

Beaumont-Dark, Anthony

Bellingham, Henry

Bendall, Vivian

Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)

Benyon, W.

Blackburn, Dr John G.

Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter

Body, Sir Richard

Bonsor, Sir Nicholas

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