§ Mr. Prentice
The report was received on Tuesday 17th December and was sent urgently to be printed as a Command Paper, No. 5848. Copies in typescript have been placed in the Library and will be made available to Members through the Vote Office. Copies will be on sale at Her Majesty's Stationery Office when they have been printed.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I are deeply grateful to Lord Houghton and the members of his committee for the care and trouble they have taken in preparing their report. To have produced so thorough and detailed a document in such a relatively short period is a notable achievement.631W
The report recommends increases on scales with effect from 24th May, ranging from 16 per cent. to 32 per cent. for teachers in primary and secondary schools, and from 16 per cent. to more than 40 per cent. for teachers in further and higher education outside the universities. There will also be increases arising from the substantial structural changes which are recommended. The Houghton Committee estimates the total additional cost at £432 million in the long term over and above the total salary bill at May 1974. The cost for England and Wales would be £385 million.
In announcing the establishment of the Committee of Inquiry on 24th May, I saidThe Government are well aware of the depth of feeling among teachers that the relative position of their pay in recent years has suffered a particularly serious decline. Teachers and others in the education service are concerned that there should be adequate incentives to make the teaching profession attractive…. Teachers have not fared well, and we consider it right that they should have their case independently assessed now. The recommendations of the review body will be referred to the appropriate negotiating machinery in England, Wales and Scotland, which will be free to decide to backdate any resulting increases in pay to the date of this announcement."—[Vol. 874, c. 287–8.]
The Government accepted teachers at the time as one of the very few groups for whom this special treatment was justified and we now therefore welcome the general principles of the report and accept its implications for expenditure. I believe that it is just and fair and is a recognition of the contribution which teachers make to society. By recommending improved salary prospects the report provides new opportunities for the teaching profession and the proposals in it should also encourage greater and much needed stability in staffing.
Copies are also being sent today to the Burnham and Pelham Committees to whom I am referring the recommendations in the report of the Committee of Inquiry. My right hon. Friend is similarly referring the report to the bodies which negotiate teachers' salaries in Scotland. The committees will be free to decide to backdate any resulting increases in pay to 24th May.
I feel sure that the local authority and teacher associations represented on the negotiating bodies will be concerned to 632W implement the recommendations of the Houghton Report as quickly as possible before the next salary settlement due to operate from April 1975.