The great teacher famine

5th January 2001 at 00:00
David Henderson reports on the controversies buried away in the Scottish Office records of 30 years ago

A shortage of teachers in primary and secondary schools was threatening to undermine comprehensive education reforms, the papers reveal.

Officials who briefed Teddy Taylor, the Education Minister, ahead of a meeting with the STUC on October 15, 1970, advised him: "The new standards, if implemented, would mean a maximum class size of 35 in all primary schools and make the existence of classes over 40 very unlikely."

Around 2,000 extra primay teachers would be needed to meet the new standard, the minister was warned.

In secondary, some schools were "seriously understaffed" ahead of the raising of the school-leaving age to 16 in 1973-74 with an additional 70,000 pupils.

Between 1964-65 and 1969-70, some 2,000 more secondary staff were employed but that was still not enough. Teachers in shortage schools were given an extra pound;200 a year while ministers were considering plans to pay removal expenses if teachers transferred to a "designated" school.

Milk snatcher, page six


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