§ 83. Dr. Michael Clark
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has on the number of unfilled vacancies for science and mathematics teachers in secondary schools; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
The most recent data supplied by local eduation authorities indicate 337 and 304 unfilled vacancies for science and mathematics teachers respectively in England and Wales in January 1985 out of a total of 2,035 vacancies for all subjects, which is less than 1 per cent. of the secondary teacher force. When account is taken of each subject's share of curriculum time the data indicate that authorities have relatively greater difficulty in meeting the demand for teachers of physics and mathematics than for secondary subjects generally. The Government are seeking to improve the supply of teachers in these particular subjects, through support for a revised pay structure for teachers, through a bursary scheme for students on relevant training courses, and through consideration of a range of other possible measures.