Teachers (Supply and Recruitment) — 25 Oct 2000

John Prescott MP, Kingston upon Hull East voted with the majority (No).

I beg to move,

That this House views with concern the growing crisis of teacher supply and recruitment which is affecting the quality of education in the country's schools; notes that there has been a net outflow of teachers from the profession since 1997; deplores the Government's complacency and failure to deal with the underlying problems leading to the decline of the teaching profession; recognises that, unless action is taken, education standards will fall in the future; and calls on the Government to set the schools free, give heads the power to exercise discipline policy in their schools, rid teachers of the excessive bureaucratic burdens they face and let teachers teach.

the results might be an indication that teacher shortages in the capital were having an impact.

trying to empty Lake Michigan with a dinner fork.

Trying to appoint a maths teacher . . . became the dance of the demons with schools phoning each other in desperation.

I was in great danger of losing the teachers of the other two classes due to stress and violence, so we took this lady on after a 20 minute interview on the phone to Australia. It was an act of faith.

I had doubts about the references and offered it to her on a one year contract which she accepted. As the year wore on, I became more and more grateful that I'd listened to that small voice. People who are not up to scratch are gaining employment when they wouldn't if there were a reasonable choice.

When push comes to shove you've got to put a body in front of the class. So long as you know they are not going to kill a child or maim them--what choice do we have.

My Lords, I think it is a little exaggerated to describe the overall national picture as a "crisis".--[ Official Report, House of Lords , 17 October 2000; Vol. 617, c. 881.]

There must be four or five schools in this authority with serious vacancies for teachers but we got a written reply from a minister saying there is not a recruitment problem.

new-found concern for teacher recruitment--

your party's plans for substantial spending cuts in education.

already prevented the substantial reduction in recruitment to teaching which may be expected with a tight graduate labour market--

I was faced with masses of paperwork every day, which was very time consuming and not what I became a teacher to do.

I am leaving the profession early in order to move up to the Lake District and escape from ridiculous pressures of the current workload: a move in the interests of my prospects of longevity: the job is definitely detrimental to one's health at the moment.

I will be leaving the profession to work in the private sector . . . I feel let down by this Government, whom I believe have done nothing to recognise or encourage experienced classroom teachers like myself.

the powers to deal effectively with discipline for the first time.

I beg to move, To leave out from "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

welcomes the successful new measures introduced by the Government to support teacher recruitment, including training salaries, incentives for shortage subjects and an expanded graduate teacher programme; welcomes the fact that there has been a significant increase in applications and acceptances for teacher training as a result; further welcomes the support given by the School Teachers Review Body for the Government's plans to better reward good teaching; notes that there are nearly 7,000 more teachers in post now than in 1998; further notes that primary and infant class sizes have fallen after rising annually under the previous administration; recognises that headteachers have got both the resources and the powers to deal effectively with discipline for the first time; and commends the work of the Government in addressing specific recruitment difficulties in London and the positive and pro-active approach of this administration towards recruiting and rewarding teachers more generally.

The complacency shown by the previous Government about the problem of teacher supply is outrageous. They created a crisis in teacher recruitment.

The Tories may have caused the problem, but Labour must solve it.--[ Official Report , 18 February 1998; Vol. 306, c. 1021-22.]

The Guardian reported on a class of 18 children who had three things in common: they were all studying "Macbeth" for GCSE English, they had all turned in essays for course work and not one of them had written a single word of that course work. It had all been done by the teacher, or in one case by the teacher and her husband. The teacher was quoted as saying:

I do it for two reasons. First, you give the kid a chance and second, you don't get beaten over the head.

The recruitment crisis is the worst we have seen. We are no longer talking about just London, but also Birmingham, Nottingham, Hull and Manchester.

You don't recruit teachers now--you hunt them.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:--

The House divided: Ayes 143, Noes 353.

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 137 (+2 tell)086.9%
DUP0 2066.7%
Independent1 0033.3%
Lab312 (+2 tell) 0075.8%
LDem38 0080.9%
PC1 0025.0%
SNP1 0016.7%
UUP0 4044.4%
Total:353 143077.4%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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NameConstituencyPartyVote
no rebellions

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