§ Fiona Mactaggart
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the Government's response to the Sixth report of the Education and Employment Committee, Session 1996–97, on the Professional Status, Recruitment and Training of Teachers, which was published in March. 
§ Ms Estelle Morris
We welcome the report. The White Paper published yesterday sets out the Government's plans to tackle the issues raised by the report. Our plans to establish a General Teaching Council, raise standards in teacher training, and develop a framework of professional standards should raise the status of the profession and assist with the recruitment of good candidates for the teaching profession. We announced last month that we are introducing new standards for initial teacher training courses, and started consultation last week on proposals for employment-based routes into teaching that will also help to boost the supply of well-trained teachers.