§ 103. Mr. A. E. Cooper
asked the Minister of Labour if he has any statement to make regarding the deferment of school teachers from National Service.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
Yes. My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Minister of Education have represented to me that the immediate shortage of teachers in secondary schools is so great as to warrant an extension of the existing arrangements for indefinite deferment. I therefore propose to introduce certain modifications for men completing their courses in 1959 and thereafter, subject in all cases to their taking up approved teaching posts in secondary schools.
Graduates with third class honours or pass degrees in physics or mathematics will no longer be excluded from the deferment arrangements. This means that all graduates in science and mathematics will in future be eligible for deferment as teachers.
With regard to arts graduates, the present arrangements provide for indefinite deferment for teaching in secondary schools to be granted to men with first or second class honours degrees who have successfully completed an approved course of teacher training. I propose, in future, to extend this concession to all graduates in arts subjects who successfully complete such training in 1959 and thereafter.
In addition, I have agreed to extend deferment for secondary school teaching to men who complete courses in teacher 83W training colleges in England and Wales in 1959 and thereafter and who have not performed their National Service. There is no corresponding group in Scotland.
These new arrangements will also apply to a few small categories of non-graduate teachers as follows:
- (a) England and Wales: Teachers who hold one of the qualifications in non-scientific subjects listed as "degree equivalents" in the Report of the Burnham Committee on Scales of Salaries for Teachers in Primary and Secondary Schools (England and Wales, 1956) and who have satisfactorily completed an approved course of teacher training.
- (b) Scotland: Non-graduate teachers holding the Teachers' Technical Certificate in such subjects as music, commerce, art, physical education and handiwork. This concession will not, however, apply to those holding a recognised qualification in science or engineering.
Preliminary estimates suggest that the number of men medically fit for National Service who are involved in the new arrangements will be between 1,250 and 1,500. Of these, some 600 will become available at the end of the current academic year and the remainder at the end of the academic year 1959–60. Of the 600 in 1958–59, about half will be graduates and half non-graduates. These numbers are additional to the total of about 700 fit men a year who, I estimate, are covered by existing arrangements for teacher deferment.