Education: A Framework for Expansion (1972)

This wide-ranging white paper was produced by Edward Heath's Conservative government in which Margaret Thatcher was Secretary of State for Education.

The complete text is presented in this single web page.

Education: A Framework for Expansion was prepared for the web by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 3 July 2017.


White Paper: Education: A Framework for Expansion (1972)

London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office 1972
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.


[title page]



Education:
A Framework for Expansion


Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Education and Science
by Command of Her Majesty
December 1972


LONDON
HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE
31½p


Cmnd. 5174


[page ii (unnumbered)]


HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE

Government Bookshops

49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6HB
13a Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 3AR
109 St Mary Street, Cardiff CF1 1JW
Brazennose Street, Manchester M60 8AS
50 Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3DE
258 Broad Street, Birmingham Bl 2HE
80 Chichester Street, Belfast BT1 4JY

Government publications are also available
through booksellers



SBN 10 152200 2


[page iii]

CONTENTS

ParaPage
1 INTRODUCTION11
2 PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS113
3 THE UNDER FIVES134
4 SCHOOLS - CAPITAL INVESTMENT
    Primary and secondary school improvements3510
    Special schools4111
5 SCHOOLS - RECURRENT EXPENDITURE
    Non-teaching costs4413
    The size of the teaching force4713
6 THE JAMES REPORT5416
7 IN-SERVICE TRAINING6018
8 INDUCTION OF TEACHERS6419
9 PATTERN OF COURSES IN TEACHER TRAINING7321
10 TRAINING FOR FURTHER EDUCATION8224
11 ORGANISATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF TEACHER TRAINING8726
12 AFTER SCHOOL AND BEYOND9929
13 DIPLOMA OF HIGHER EDUCATION11032
14 NUMBERS AND COSTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION11434
15 THE UNIVERSITIES12938
16 POLYTECHNICS AND OTHER FURTHER EDUCATION COLLEGES14141
17 COLLEGES OF EDUCATION4843
18 THE ORGANISATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION15846
19 PUBLIC EXPENDITURE IMPLICATIONS16348


[page 1]

1. INTRODUCTION

1. The last ten years have seen a major expansion of the education service. The next ten will see expansion continue - as it must if education is to make a full contribution to the vitality of our society and our economy.

2. Since they took office more than two years ago, the Government have been reviewing the directions in which the service is growing: its objectives and its priorities. In particular they have examined five of its aspects which require close attention at the present time: nursery education, school building, staffing standards in schools, teacher training and higher education. Each of these poses difficult decisions about the allocation of resources if, within those available, a balanced programme of advance across all five is to be achieved.

3. It is therefore on matters of scale, organisation and cost rather than educational content that attention is mainly focused in this White Paper. It lays down the objectives at which the Government are aiming, the lines on which they intend that each programme should develop and the resources they are planning to devote to their attainment. It will be seen that expenditure in each of the five areas (with one partial exception, noted below) will continue to increase substantially in real terms over the coming decade.

4. In the 1960s the main determinant of rising educational expenditure was increasing number of young people using the education system. The expansion was led by quantitative, or demographic factors: larger age groups within the span of compulsory education; rising demand for access to sixth forms, further and higher education; more buildings to accommodate them; an more staff to teach them. There was little respite from the job of simply coping with rising numbers.

5. In the 1970s these pressures will not be so intense. Some programmes - that for higher education, for example - must continue to grapple with the familiar problem of rising numbers and more places. "Roofs over heads" in the schools, on the other hand, will be a less pressing problem (the exception noted above). Choices of a new kind can therefore be made.

6. Thus, the nursery programme extends the boundaries of the education service to include children aged three and four. The school building pro- gramme gives a new impetus to efforts to get rid of bad old schools. The teaching force will continue to be expanded but, no less and perhaps more importantly, the teacher training programme envisages a major new initiative to improve the quality of training and thus of the teaching force. Finally the continuing growth of higher education makes possible the development of a more diverse range of opportunities for both students and institutions.


[page 2]

7. There is no ready way of deciding what weight to give to each of these programmes. The total resources available will always be limited. Everything cannot be done in full at once. Each programme is in a very real sense in competition for its share of resources with other programmes, both within and outside the education service. But, with the exception already noted, each of the education programmes under review must continue to grow. This White Paper represents the Government's judgment about the appropriate rate of expansion for each.

8. The White Paper is designed to provide a framework for future action. It indicates the general direction of a ten-year strategy for the education service but there is room for a good deal of tactical flexibility and for variation in timing in the later years and in the rate of progress. In each part of the programme, many points still remain for decision. The Government and their several partners in the provision of the service will be able to consider these and work out in consultation how the programme can best be carried through. This will call for a sustained co-ordinated effort over a substantial period.

9. Apart from education in the universities, for which responsibility rests with the Secretary of State for Education and Science throughout Great Britain, education in Scotland is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Scotland and will be the subject of a separate White Paper.

10. Under the Transfer of Functions (Wales) Order 1970 the Secretary of State for Wales assumed responsibility for primary and secondary education in Wales, although all other educational functions in Wales remain the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Education and Science. Those sections of this White Paper which cover nursery, primary and secondary education in England and Wales are therefore presented on behalf of both Secretaries of State.


[page 3]

2. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS

11. Primary and secondary schools (including nursery schools and classes for the under fives) still claim more than half the total of educational expenditure, in spite of the rapid growth of higher education over the past decade. Resources apart, the schools are of paramount importance because they provide the foundation for all continued education, and because they affect almost the whole population of the country at some stage in their lives. In 1971 over 93 per cent of all the children of compulsory school age in England and Wales were attending maintained primary or secondary schools.

12. The Government have carried through to finality a great reform, the raising of the school leaving age to 16 in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act, 1944. They have also devoted substantial additional resources to the replacement and improvement of unsatisfactory primary schools. The next phase of the Government's policy for the schools, which is set out in the following sections of this White Paper, makes advances which are no less important. These include a major initiative in the provision of facilities for the under fives. In addition to this important extension of the range of education, plans have been made for increased capital expenditure on the improvement of secondary schools and on an enlarged special school building programme; and for a ten-year programme for improving school staffing standards and the extension to all teachers of opportunities for in-service training.



[page 4]

3. THE UNDER FIVES

13. The Government have decided to launch a new policy for the education of children under five. This will be the first systematic step since 1870, when education was made compulsory at the age of five, to offer an earlier start in education.

14. Although local education authorities were required by the 1944 Education Act to "have regard" to the need for the provision of nursery education, its claims on resources have had to be subordinated to the needs of children of compulsory school age and to the growing demands for longer secondary school education and all forms of post-school education. While the school-leaving age has been raised twice, local authorities were asked in Circular 8/60 to restrict the number of under fives in school (other than "rising fives") to the number in 1957. This has been mitigated only by a concession to enable local education authorities to establish new nursery classes where these would allow married women to return to teaching, and by the approval of some 20,000 new places in nursery schools and classes under the Urban Programme.

15. Children are already admitted by some schools in the term before their fifth birthday, as "rising fives", even though in law they need not be admitted until the beginning of the term after they become live. Indeed, in some areas where buildings and teachers are available, children start school even earlier. In January 1971 there were about 220,000 children under five in infant classes (mostly attending full-time but some 4,000 part-time); and about 100,000 more (45,000 full-time and 55,000 part-time) in some 500 separate nursery schools and 2,000 nursery classes in primary schools. This provision amounted to the equivalent of some 300,000 full-time places. But the proportion of children receiving education in maintained schools for even part of their fifth year was still under 35 per cent; for three year-olds the proportion was a mere 5 per cent. These are very low figures compared with the level of provision in some countries of the European Economic Community (1).

16. There is now considerable evidence pointing to the importance of the years before five in a child's education - and to the most effective ways of providing for the needs, and potential, which children display at this age. The Reports of the Central Advisory Council (2), under Lady Plowden and the late Professor Gittins, based practical proposals upon these ideas. They recommended that most needs could be met by part-time nursery education

(1) Nursery places are provided for over 50 per cent of three year-olds and over 80 per cent of four year-olds in France; for over 80 per cent of three year-olds and over 90 per cent of four year-olds in Belgium; for over 80 per cent of four year-olds in Holland; and for over 50 per cent of three and four year-olds in Italy.

(2) Children and their Primary Schools. HMSO. 1967. Primary Education in Wales HMSO 1967.


[page 5]

and that places should be provided for all three and four year-olds whose parents wished them to attend. The Plowden Council estimated that provision for 90 per cent of four year-olds and 50 per cent of three year-olds would be adequate to meet demand.

17. The action the Government now propose will give effect to these recommendations. Their aim is that within the next ten years nursery education should become available without charge, within the limits of demand estimated by Plowden, to those children of three and four whose parents wish them to benefit from it. Circular 8/60 will be withdrawn.

18. Important as the new policy is in making possible a substantial increase in facilities for the under fives, it will make the contribution that it should, both educationally and socially, only if equal attention is directed to the character of the provision. A clear perception of objectives and imaginative implementation will be necessary. While the Government can give a lead, success or failure will depend much more on the enterprise, skill and sensitivity of local authorities, teachers and other staff, and on the response of parents.

19. The value of nursery education in promoting the social development of young children has long been acknowledged. In addition we now know that, given sympathetic and skilled supervision, children may also make great educational progress before the age of five. They are capable of developing further in the use of language, in thought and in practical skills than was previously supposed. Progress of this kind gives any child a sound basis for his subsequent education.

20. The opportunities which the new policy offers for families living in deprived areas - both urban and rural - in bringing up their young children will be particularly important. There, as elsewhere, the Government believe that provision for the under fives should build on, not supplant, parents' own efforts.

21. The extension of nursery education will also provide an opportunity for the earlier identification of children with special difficulties which, if neglected, may inhibit their educational progress. These difficulties may be predominantly social, psychological or medical. It will be important to ensure that such children's parents are made aware of the facilities available; remedial measures are much more likely to be effective if applied early. Close contact between those responsible for the education of the children and social workers, educational psychologists, nurses and doctors will be of great importance.

Nature of Expansion

22. Planning the provision required to meet the aims of the new policy is complicated in two ways. First, the Government are not laying down a uniform detailed pattern; they hope that local plans will reflect local needs and resources, particularly the contribution of playgroups. Secondly, demographic factors apart, the extent of demand and its future growth are


[page 6]

uncertain. It will therefore be necessary to watch the development of demand carefully in the early years.

23. In preparing for the expansion of nursery education, local authorities will need to take account of other facilities for under fives, existing or planned, so as to prepare a scheme for their areas in which nursery classes and schools, voluntary playgroups, day nurseries and other forms of day-care all play their part. The Government attach importance to a full assessment of local resources and needs, and will welcome diversity in provision so long as it is efficient and there is no sacrifice of standards in the education and care of the children. The main burden of this responsibility must rest on education departments, but other departments of local authorities will need to share in it, and consultation with voluntary bodies will also be necessary in many areas.

24. The Government believe it would be right for most of the extra nursery provision to take the form of classes for the under fives forming part of primary schools. Educationally this has the advantage of avoiding a change of school at five. It is important that the classes - new and existing - should be housed, staffed and equipped to meet the special needs of young children. Where standards in existing classes wholly or mainly for children under five are below those appropriate for nursery classes, additional assistance to teachers and improvements in equipment, accommodation and outdoor playing space may be required.

25. The majority of educationists regard part-time attendance at school as sufficient, indeed preferable, for most children until they reach compulsory school age. The number of under fives attending maintained schools part-time rose from 4,000 in 1960 to 60,000 in 1971. There will, however, continue to be some children who have a special need to attend full-time, either for educational reasons or because of home circumstances.

26. The Government's plans have therefore been made on the basis of half-time attendance as the general rule for children under compulsory school age. In estimating the cost of additional provision allowance has been made, as recommended in the Plowden and Gittins Reports, for 15 per cent of three and four year-old children to attend full-time for educational and social reasons. The effect could be that eventually about one place in five would be used in this way, although the proportion will vary according to need from one part of the country to another. No allowance has been made to cover the higher capital and current costs of nursery schools. Any significant expansion of nursery schools would slow down the rate at which the Government's objectives will be reached.

27. Authorities should consider carefully the role of voluntary playgroups. Many thousands of mothers devote considerable time and energy to running and organising such groups, which make an important contribution, providing ing for over a quarter of a million children under five. The Government have substantially increased their financial support for the playgroup movement. They hope that the development of playgroups will continue, particularly among socially deprived children, and that local authorities will consider how the best use can be made of them. Some playgroups, if


[page 7]

provided with better equipment and qualified staff, could become maintained nursery classes: part of the primary school but on a separate site. Playgroups will continue to have a distinct and valuable role to play alongside an expanding system of nursery education. These voluntary groups may be assisted by local authorities in their various capacities by cash grants, the loan of equipment, or the advice of the authority's nursery and infant specialists. They may be associated with a local primary school, and so enjoy the support of qualified teachers. Where playgroups are supported in this way, it will be important to ensure that they provide the same opportunities as in maintained schools for identifying children with special handicaps.

Disadvantaged Children

28. All children can gain from nursery education but it is particularly valuable for children whose home and life are restricted, for whatever reason. While the Government's aim is that nursery education should be widely available within ten years for children of three and four, priority will be given in the early stages of the programme to areas of disadvantage. Local education authorities with substantial areas of social deprivation, urban and rural, will be given some priority in the allocation of capital resources in 1974-76. It is hoped that all local education authorities will in their turn take account of these considerations in deciding which parts of their own areas should be given priority in the establishment of new classes for the under fives, or in giving additional help to existing classes. The experience gained in the administration of the Urban Programme should be valuable in suggesting criteria. If in the early stages of the expansion programme the demand for places exceeds the supply, authorities will no doubt consider how far their admissions policy should give priority to children with special needs. The Role of Parents

29. Local education authorities will also wish to adapt and apply to nursery education lessons which can be learnt from the experience of playgroups. The most successful of these have derived much strength from the support of parents, which the playgroup can generate by providing a focus of interest in education in a community. Some mothers have been able to give practical help in running playgroups; as nursery education expands, many more may wish to have some training, such as a further education college provide, in order to make the most of their time and their skills whether working in a playgroup or a nursery class. Their maturity and experience with children are important assets. In addition, nursery education probably offers the best opportunities for enlisting parents' understanding and support for what schools are trying to achieve, which is of key importance to successful education at subsequent stages.

30. Many teachers in nursery classes are already achieving these results. Enlisting parental support is particularly important in the disadvantaged areas, where the need to stimulate interest and establish links between home and school is greater, but it is important in all areas. Local authorities will


[page 8]

need to consider how to make the most of the opportunities nursery education offers in this field. Social services departments will also have an important part to play, especially in disadvantaged areas.

Staffing

31. The rapid expansion of nursery education will require more staff. There will need to be expanded provision for courses leading to the certificate of the National Nursery Examination Board; and it will be necessary to seek new and imaginative ways of attracting into training as nursery assistants both school-leavers - and others - who can take a full-time course and older candidates who may not have the time or resources for this. Both will be needed and each will have a distinctive contribution to make.

32. Above all, the programme will require many more qualified teachers particularly if, as the Government hope, the proportion of teachers in the staff of nursery classes, at present about a third, is to grow to at least a half. The objective is to maintain the present overall ratio of pupils to adult staff of 13:1. For this purpose, the present number of about 10,000 qualified teachers of pupils below the age of live may need to be increased to upwards of 25,000 in ten years' time. It follows that more students in colleges of education must be attracted to suitable courses. This should be the easier because the expansion of nursery education will make the teaching of young children a more attractive career. In addition some serving teachers whose initial training and experience have been concerned mainly with older age groups and who wish to turn to nursery education may require further training to equip them for the purpose. Guidance will be given to local authorities and to colleges of education on their part in these two developments.

Resources

33. If demand does reach the figures estimated in the Plowden Report, some 700,000 full-time equivalent places may be needed in all by 1981-82. 300,000 are at present available, half of them for children of rising five. New capital provision apart, this figure would probably rise by about 150,000 over the next ten years for two reasons. First, in many areas the number of children in the five to eleven age group will fall, and authorities will be able to adapt accommodation in existing primary schools for the needs of the under fives. Secondly, more nursery places already approved under the Urban Programme will be brought into use. Even so a substantial programme of purpose-built accommodation will be required, and as the first step the Government propose to authorise special building programmes of 15 million each in 1974-75 and 1975-76. The effect will be to increase total current expenditure on the under fives from about 42 million in 1971-72 to about 65 million in 1976-77. Detailed guidance on the administration of these building programme allocations, and related matters, will be given shortly in a Circular which will ask local authorities to submit plans for their areas in consultation with the voluntary school authorities.

Research

34. The Government propose to set up a research programme to monitor the development of the new provision. This will include studies of the results


[page 9]

and effectiveness of nursery education in reaching its several goals. These studies will take a wider view of results than the children's educational attainment, though this will naturally form an important part. Studies may need to be planned in conjunction with other Departments concerned with social policy, and will take account of any development launched in support of the new programme by the Schools Council.




[page 10]

4. SCHOOLS - CAPITAL INVESTMENT

Primary and Secondary School Improvements

35. School building programmes have to be large enough to ensure that a school place is available for every child. The programmes must take account of changes both in the total size of the school population and in its geographical distribution. These basic needs must have first claim on the resources available for school building. Over the past ten years the number of children in maintained primary and secondary schools in England and Wales has risen by over a million. In addition provision has had to be made for the raising of the school leaving age. Primary rolls increased throughout this period, but the fall in the birth-rate since 1964 will mean that numbers in primary schools will decline after 1974. Increases in secondary rolls began in the middle of the 1960s and are expected to continue up to 1980 when the effects of the falling birth-rate will start to be reflected in the secondary schools. The pressure of basic needs has therefore already diminished substantially in relation to primary schools, and in a few years' time will start to diminish in relation to secondary schools. Such easing of the pressure of increasing numbers affords a favourable opportunity to catch up on the replacement or improvement of unsatisfactory school buildings.

36. Over a long period, substantial capital resources over and above those required to meet basic needs have been devoted to secondary education this process began with the reorganisation of all-age schools, first in rural and then in urban areas, in the 1950s and early 1960s, and continued with the provision of better accommodation for science teaching and more general improvements. The number of new permanent secondary school places provided since 1945 is now equivalent to about 75 per cent of the secondary school population, only about 5 per cent of which is housed in 19th century buildings.

37. In the primary schools, apart from the special programme for educational priority areas in 1968-70, the provision of new places has done little more than keep pace with the increase and movement of the population, and many old and unsatisfactory primary schools have remained in use. About 20 per cent of primary school children are still in Victorian buildings. The Plowden Report argued convincingly that all later education depended on the soundness of the foundations laid in the primary schools, and would suffer if they were starved of the resources that they need. It was against this background that the Government promised to bring about a shift of resources within the education budget in favour of the primary schools. To implement this policy substantial programmes for the replacement of unsatisfactory primary schools were initiated from 1972-73. These programmes at current prices average more than 50 million a year.


[page 11]

38. By 1976-77 good progress will have been made with the primary improvement programmes; and the fall in primary school numbers from 1974 until the end of the decade will enable some old schools to be taken out of use. This progress, and the continued growth in secondary school numbers after the raising of the school leaving age, make it desirable to devote some resources to the replacement or improvement of the worst secondary school buildings. For this purpose the school building programmes for 1975-76 and 1976-77 will each be increased by 10 million. These additions will form the first stages of a rising secondary school improvement programme for England and Wales.

39. These resources will enable progress to be resumed on the replacement or remodelling of the hard core of old secondary school buildings that are well below standard and lack specialist facilities needed for secondary education. Old schools of this kind are to be found in all parts of the country but particularly (outside Greater London) in declining industrial areas in the Midlands, the North and in Wales. The systematic programme now to be launched for their improvement and replacement will not only improve educational facilities, but also make a contribution to the Government's policy for the regions.

40. The addition of a secondary renewal programme to that for primary schools should pave the way for a more systematic long-term approach to the problem of renewal of school buildings. In aggregate the nation's schools represent a very large, geographically dispersed capital plant, provided at different times over the last hundred years or so. Most of die oldest school buildings - -those provided before 1902 - are by any standard near the end of their useful life unless they have been substantially remodelled. But some more recent buildings also exhibit serious deficiencies. The aim should be to have a steady programme to keep the plant up to date and to prevent the accumulation of backlogs of obsolete buildings. Such a policy needs to be very flexible, not only as between primary and secondary schools, but also to take account from year to year of variations in the level of basic needs, demands for resources in other sectors and changes in the economic situation, But it is easier to move towards such a policy at a time when basic needs are less clamant than they have been at any time since 1945. The next decade will be such a period.

Special Schools

41. Special schools for handicapped children, like other schools, have their share of old and inadequate buildings and it is right that they should also have their share of the resources available for replacement and renewal. The provision of more special school places for certain handicaps is of at least equal importance.

42. There is an additional reason at the present time for increasing the size of the special school building programme. The Education (Handicapped Children) Act 1970 brought mentally handicapped children, for whom there had previously been no obligation to provide education, within the scope of the education system from 1 April 1971. Since then local education authori-


[page 12]

ties have been surveying the field of their new responsibilities and assessing what is needed to discharge them. Many of these children are not at present receiving any education and there is often a lack of suitable accommodation in or near the hospitals or homes in which they live. Local education authorities ties are therefore making plans for a number of new special schools.

43. To help meet these needs the Government are proposing a rapid acceleration of the England and Wales special school building programme from 11 million in 1972-73 to reach 19 million by 1976-77 as follows:

m (starts)

1972-731973-741974-751975-761976-77
1112½1517½19





[page 13]

5. SCHOOLS - RECURRENT EXPENDITURE

Non-teaching costs

44. The salaries, superannuation, and National Insurance contributions of teachers account for about 70 per cent of the total cost of running the schools. "Non-teaching costs" as they are called account for the remaining 30 per cent and amounted to 355 million in 1971-72. About one-half of the non-teaching costs is directly attributable to the upkeep of grounds and buildings, and nearly a further quarter to the pay of staff employed for this purpose. Expenditure on textbooks, library books, school stationery and materials accounts for about one-eighth of the non-teaching costs; when educational equipment and other supplies are added this proportion rises by about one-sixth.

45. The Government do not control these items of expenditure, and trends in non-teaching costs result from many separate decisions by individual local education authorities. A number of general factors, however, influence these trends; for example, changes in pupil numbers, improvements in staffing standards which enable pupils to be taught a more varied curriculum in smaller classes or groups, and newly provided school buildings which entail higher standards of lighting, heating and general maintenance of the premises and grounds. In addition there is a tendency for teaching equipment and materials to become more elaborate and sophisticated. All these factors tend lead to a higher level of non-teaching costs. Since 1964-65 these costs have been rising, per pupil, at an annual compound rate of 2.8 per cent in primary schools and 3.2 per cent in secondary schools, on a constant price basis.

46. In recent years there has been a greater increase in expenditure on the salaries and wages of non-teaching staff than on other components of non-teaching costs, and this trend is likely to persist for some years. Expenditure per head on books, while varying considerably among authorities, Eon average been below what is recommended by the Association of Education Committees as necessary to achieve a good standard of provision. The Government believe that local education authorities will generally recognise the importance of an adequate supply of books in schools and hope that, where this is necessary, they will aim at improving standards. In their view it should be possible to meet this aim, and also to absorb the demands for higher expenditure generated in the ways described above, within a level of non-teaching costs per pupil which continues to rise at 3 per cent per annum, on average, taking primary and secondary schools together.

The Size of the Teaching Force

47. School staffing is much the largest single item of school expenditure. Moreover, the standard of the education provided depends ultimately on there being an adequate number of teachers of the right quality. From both


[page 14]

points of view the subject demands the most careful consideration by the the Department and the local education authorities. The follow paragraphs examine the staffing needs of the schools over the next ten years.

48. In March 1971, in full-time equivalent terms, there were some 10,000 qualified teachers of pupils below the age of live in maintained schools (including under 2,000 in maintained nursery schools) and 354,000 teaching pupils aged five and over: a total of 364,000. In 1961 the number of qualified teachers was 276,000. This one-third increase in the number of qualified teachers has been accompanied by the virtual disappearance of the unqualified and thus represents a qualitative as well as a quantitative improvement. It has been a major achievement by the staffs of the training institutions, the local education authorities, the voluntary bodies and many others. The statistics of the last ten years show the progress that has been made: from 1961 to 1971 the national pupil:teacher ratio improved from 25.3:1 to 22.6:1, despite an increase of over a million in school rolls, and the proportion of primary classes of over 40 registered pupils declined from 14.4 per cent to 3.3 per cent. This year it is only 2.5 per cent.

49. The proportion of oversize classes is, however, a crude instrument for measuring staffing standards. Class sizes depend not only on the number of teachers employed but also on a number of other factors, not least the freedom of the heads of schools to deploy their teaching staff in the best educational interests of the pupils. The pupil:teacher ratio is now in more common use and provides a simpler and more reliable indicator of current standards and a better index of progress in improving them. But it does not allow for changes in the age distribution of the school population. For example, an increase, within a given total school population, in the proportion of older pupils with their more favourable staffing ratio would necessitate an improvement in the overall ratio merely to retain the same standards. The projections of pupil numbers to 1981 in fact show both an increase in total numbers and an increased proportion of older pupils, and both factors will have to be taken into account.

50. In the years of worst shortage, the overriding priority was to increase the number of teachers and eliminate the largest classes. Now judgments of relative priorities are becoming possible between improvements in staffing and other ways in which extra resources can be used to benefit the schools. Although there is no conclusive evidence yet on the educational effects of class size, the Government think it right to be guided by the judgment of experienced teachers and educationists that a further reduction in the average size of classes would be justified on both educational and social grounds. They accordingly intend that stalling standards generally should continue to improve progressively: it is only the rate of progress which must be decided, in relation to the pursuit of other objectives.

51. The Government believe that the local education authorities, as the employers, share this wish to see not merely a maintenance of real standards but a continuing steady improvement during the present decade and probably beyond; and that they will welcome a broad policy objective of securing by 1981 a teaching force 10 per cent above the number needed to maintain the staffing standards reached in 1971. To achieve this for the projected 1981


[page 15]

pupil numbers will require an increase of about 110,000 and a total of about 465,000 qualified teachers for pupils aged five and over by that date.

52. In addition, upwards of 25,000 teachers may be needed by 1981 to staff the expanded provision for children under five, described in Section 3; and Sections 7 and 8 below will indicate the need for another 20,000 to carry out the Government's policy for implementing the James Report recommendations on in-service training and the induction of new teachers. Thus the Government see a broad requirement, which they propose for adoption as a basis for planning by all concerned, for some 510,000 (full- time equivalent) qualified teachers to be employed in maintained schools by 1981. This would represent an overall pupil:teacher ratio of about 18½:1. The figures quoted in this and the previous paragraph must be subject to the unavoidable uncertainties inherent in projections of this kind; in particular they do not take into account the recent signs of a falling birth-rate, the longer-term effects of which require further study.

53. The implications of these figures for the colleges of education are considered later (Section 17). But first they must be placed in the context of the Government's decisions on the recommendations of the James Committee, set out in the following sections, and of Government policy for higher education generally.


[page 16]

THE JAMES REPORT

54. The last major changes in teacher training followed the publication of the McNair Report (1) in 1944. Over the last decade, however, the colleges and departments of education have faced three great challenges: the extension of teacher training courses to a minimum of three years; a rapidly rising school population; and the need for a rapid improvement in school staffing standards. The presence in these institutions of nearly 120,000 students on initial training compared with fewer than 40,000 in 1961-62 shows how successfully they have responded.

55. The earlier need for the quickest possible expansion has recently eased, so that in the last two or three years attention has turned to the content, structure and organisation of training. In 1969 a Select Committee of the House of Commons began a major study of these questions (2) and in February 1970 the Area Training Organisations (A.T.O.s) were asked to make a thorough review of their own courses and procedures. Towards the end of the same year the new Government appointed a strong Committee of Inquiry into Teacher Education and Training under the chairmanship of Lord James of Rusholme. With the Select Committee's evidence available to them and the A.T.O. reviews already under way. Lord James' Committee had massive data on which to work. Their Report was completed within a year and published in January 1972 (3).

56. The six objectives at which the Committee aimed have received universal acclaim. These are they: a large and systematic expansion of in-service training; a planned reinforcement of the process of induction in the first year in school; progressive achievement of an all-graduate profession by means of a more flexible, open-ended and challenging pattern of courses, without loss of emphasis on the development of professional skills; the improved training of further education teachers; the whole-hearted acceptance of the colleges of education into the family of higher education institutions; and improved arrangements for the control and co-ordination of teacher training and supply, both nationally and regionally, to ensure that the many parties in this concerted enterprise can each make a full and fair contribution to the achievement of the overall goal.

57. This goal is no less than building a body of teachers well prepared academically and professionally, to sustain confidently the formidable task to which they are called: to guide each generation of children into a full appreciation of our culture, to quicken their social and moral awareness, to enhance their intellectual abilities to the highest standard of which each is capable, and to develop their practical and human skills so that

(1) Teachers and Youth Leaders. HMSO. 1944.

(2) Select Committee on Education and Science. Session 1969-70. Vols I-V.

(3) Teacher Education and Training. HMSO. 1972.


[page 17]

each may be enabled to make his or her maximum contribution to the health, wealth and harmony of a democratic society.

58. The Secretary of State has discussed the Committee's recommendations fully and constructively with all the main bodies concerned. It is clear that the sixfold objectives outlined above are widely supported. They are fully accepted by the Government. But the methods by which the James Committee proposed that some of them should be achieved have proved more controversial.

59. The debate which followed has been of great value. The Secretary of State's discussions could not have hoped to achieve complete unanimity over so wide a range of interlocking problems, but they have established a large measure of common agreement on the best way of achieving the six main objectives. The Government believe that the decisions which follow form an acceptable basis for sharing responsibility for the preparation of teachers with the Government's main partners: teachers themselves - whether working in schools and further education or in training the profession - the institutions concerned with training, and the local education authorities and voluntary bodies.



[page 18]

7. IN-SERVICE TRAINING

60. The James Committee considered it essential that there be adequate opportunities for the continued education and training of all teachers at intervals throughout their careers. It was therefore their leading and and most widely endorsed recommendation that all teachers should be entitled to release for in-service training for periods equivalent to one term in every seven years of service in the first instance. They estimated that actual take-up of such an entitlement would result in 3 per cent of the teaching force being absent on secondment from schools at any one time; this involves a fourfold increase in present opportunity.

61. The Government propose to give effect to the Committee's recommendation, in the firm belief that expenditure to achieve an expansion of in-service training of this order is a necessary investment in the future quality of the teaching force. The recommendation will need to be implemented over a period as increases in die teaching force permit larger numbers of teachers to be released. The raising of the school leaving age will put staffing standards under temporary strain, but the Government's aim is that a substantial expansion of in-service training should begin in the school year 1974-75 and should thereafter continue progressively so as to reach the target of 3 per cent release by 1981.

62. Underlying any such programme is the problem of striking a balance between the teacher's personal interest in his professional development and the employer's concern with the current needs of particular schools and of the pupils in them. The Government's consultations with those most closely concerned have also exposed the practical difficulties of making an express entitlement a matter of contract between a teacher and his employer. It would be necessary to determine priorities for release, to consider what account should be taken of service before the introduction of the arrangements, and to preserve opportunities for some teachers to attend courses of more than three months in duration.

63. The Government believe it may be best for the teachers' associations and local authorities, once the programme is under way, to negotiate an agreed basis for the release of teachers for in-service training. In the meantime the Government will look for vigorous preparation for the expansion to come.


[page 19]

8. INDUCTION OF TEACHERS

64. There is no major profession to which a new entrant, however thorough his initial training, can be expected immediately to make a full contribution. The Government share the view of the James Committee that a teacher on first employment needs, and should be released part-time to profit from, a systematic programme of professional initiation, guided experience, and further study. In what follows this process is described, for brevity, as "induction". The word "probation" introduces the further, though subordinate, idea that the period of induction is also one of assessment, which when successfully completed makes the teacher a full member of the profession.

65. The Government intend that the element of assessment will continue, as one aspect of the function of professional recognition which is described in paragraph 92 below, and that the existing periods of probation will remain unchanged. In future, teachers who have successfully completed probation will be described as "registered teachers".

66. There has been widespread support for the Committee's view that the induction of probationary teachers needs powerful reinforcement. Serious doubts have been expressed, however, about the status proposed for the "licensed teacher" and about the deferment of the award of the B.A.(Ed.) degree until after the completion of a year's teaching. The Government do not support the alternative proposals put forward in some quarters, under which "licentiates" would be regarded as students, as supernumerary teachers or as half-time teachers.

67. The Government consider that a teacher's initial professional training must include substantially more than the minimum of four weeks' practical experience in the schools suggested in the Report. During their training students should have been given sufficient experience to be acceptable, on taking their first employment in the schools, as teachers who are qualified though still subject to probation.

68. This must be accompanied by two provisos. The first is that for their period of probation (normally a year) teachers should receive the kind of help and support needed to make the induction process both more effective and less daunting than it has often been in the past. The second is that they must be released for not less than one-fifth of their time for in-service training. For the remainder of their time they should be serving in the schools, but with a somewhat lightened time-table, so that altogether they might be expected to undertake three-quarters of a full teaching load. The Government's plans for the growth of the teaching force assume that local education authorities will engage the additional teachers needed to make this possible. The Government share the Committee's wish to see the teaching profession itself playing a major role in the induction process. They agree that profes-


[page 20]

sional tutors will need to be designated and trained for this purpose and that a network of professional centres should be established, based principally on existing training institutions and teachers' centres.

69. The Report drew attention to the practical difficulties which the school and local education authorities would face. At present many schools are heavily dependent on probationers. In some areas it has been necessary to appoint them to posts which would tax even experienced teachers. For the future, as teacher supply improves, newly-qualified teachers will form a diminishing proportion of the teaching force and it will be possible to be more selective about their postings. The local education authorities have shown in the consultations that they fully accept the prime responsibility for ensuring that newly qualified teachers are appointed to suitable first posts and are given the supportive advice and guidance they need.

70. The raising of the school leaving age and local government reorganisation will preclude for two or three years a general start on plans for improved induction. Meanwhile there is much to be done. The The Government are proposing to the local authority associations that the planning of pilot schemes should be started in 1972-73 in four areas not heavily affected by local government reorganisation, to study the practical problems. It is hoped that in the pilot areas the training of professional tutors can start during the school year 1973-74. At the same time, other local education authorities will no doubt wish to make a beginning with improvements in the induction process as fast as their resources allow. The aim is to introduce a national scheme in the school year 1975-76.

71. These positive improvements in the induction process and in-service training have a number of features in common. Together they give rise to a substantial demand for extra teachers, and both will require the designation of professional tutors and place new responsibilities on the schools. In both contexts, local education authorities will wish to strengthen their advisory staff and facilities. These advances can be achieved in part by the redeployment of existing resources in colleges of education and elsewhere. Finally, both raise broader issues of regional organisation and administration which are discussed in Section 11 below.

72. The major part of the cost of putting into effect the Government's new strategy for teacher training will result from these two new departures. By 1981 in-service training and induction will require about 20,000 more teachers than would otherwise be needed and are likely to cost about 55 million annually, at 1972 prices.


[page 21]

9. PATTERN OF COURSES IN TEACHER TRAINING

73. The Government propose to work towards the achievement of a graduate teaching profession as the ultimate aim. The James Committee recommended that this aim be secured by awarding intending teachers a new unclassified "professional degree", the B.A.(Ed.), after they had successfully completed not less than two years of personal higher education and a further two years of professional training, the second year of which would be in employment in the schools. They proposed that a new awarding body should validate the degree.

74. The Government have received many representations about these proposals. They agree with the view that a new awarding body would tend to divorce teacher training from the rest of higher education. They also share the widespread doubts that have been expressed about the value of a degree composed of three elements for which there might be no common standard or common responsibility; nor would they like to see the existing B.Ed., to the development of which much careful thought has been given, confined to the in-service stage. Finally, consultations have indicated that there is now greater support for concurrent courses for those wishing to commit themselves to teaching at an early stage than there appeared to be when the Committee were engaged on their task.

75. During consultations a substantial measure of agreement has emerged in favour of an alternative development. Many of those most closely concerned with the content of training would like the opportunity to construct, and to see introduced as soon as possible, new three-year courses incorporating educational studies which are so designed that they will lead both to the award of a B.Ed, degree and to qualified status. The degree would normally be an Ordinary B.Ed, degree with the assumption that a proportion of students who attain a sufficiently high standard in the three-year course could, if they wished, continue for a fourth year to take an Honours B.Ed, degree. The normal entry requirement would be the same as for universities and the academic content no less rigorous than that of existing degree courses. The length of the college of education year would also permit the inclusion of at least 15 weeks' supervised practical experience in a three-year course. The Government strongly support the promotion of such a development.

76. The Government think it important that this new degree should be subject to validation by the existing awarding bodies. They welcome the declaration by the Council for National Academic Awards of its willingness to participate in such validation, and they hope that universities will be receptive to any request to do so that is put to them by a college of education.

77. It will be for the colleges planning these new three-year B.Ed. courses


[page 22]

to ensure that they meet both the academic and the professional requirements. On the one hand an intending teacher must acquire, as well as the necessary knowledge and the capacity to apply it, that attitude to learning which will sustain him throughout his career and enable him to profit by subsequent in-service training. On the other hand he must be adequately equipped for the professional tasks that await him in the schools. The balance between these requirements will depend on the particular teaching objectives of the student, and the timing of the studies which contribute to them will be determined by the extent to which the student is committed to teaching when he enters college. The Government share the James Committee's desire to cater not only for the committed student but also for the student who wishes to keep his options open or who embarks on teacher training but later changes his mind. This the Committee proposed to achieve by the arrangements for a Diploma in Higher Education, designed in a teacher training context and described in their Report.

78. Section 13 below sets out the Government's proposals for introducing a range of two-year courses of higher education in a wider context and with a wider purpose. The Government have been assured by those concerned that it will be possible to devise three-year B.Ed, courses, where required, in such a way that the first two years of study could lead to a Diploma of Higher Education (Dip. H.E.). If these courses were constructed on a unit basis they would offer flexibility of content and timing sufficient to meet the needs of both committed and uncommitted students.

79. At present about 40 per cent of entrants to colleges of education have the entrance qualification of two or more A levels proposed for both B.Ed. and Dip. H.E. courses. There would not in the short term be enough applicants with this qualification to meet all teacher supply needs, and a policy of wholesale exemptions would undermine the standing of the new degree. The Government consider therefore that, so long as the needs of the schools require it, certificate courses should continue to be provided. Exceptional students should be enabled to transfer from certificate courses to B.Ed. courses at an appropriate stage.

80. The contribution to leaching of mature entrants is widely valued. The new B.Ed. courses should be accessible to those mature students who can show their ability to benefit from a course of study at that level even though they do not have the formal minimum entrance qualification. Shortened courses of teacher training should, however, continue to be provided for mature candidates who already hold high academic qualifications.

81. Growing numbers of graduates are seeking entry to one-year courses leading to a postgraduate certificate of education whether in university departments or in colleges of education. The James Committee referred to the problem of providing adequate preparation in such courses for the teachers' professional responsibilities. The Government recognise that the teaching profession will always need men and women with the highest academic qualifications and that it will be necessary for postgraduate training courses for such entrants to continue. But the need for graduates is not confined to the


[page 23]

teaching of specialised subjects - nor to secondary schools where, as in primary schools, there is great scope for teachers who have pursued a broader course of undergraduate study. This suggests that, as competition for places on post-graduate courses increases, the training institutions should give preference to applicants who have followed a broad rather than a specialised undergraduate course. They are also likely to welcome particularly applicants whose degree studies have included elements relevant to their professional training, including practical experience. A number of universities have already introduced education options at the undergraduate stage, and a few offer four-year sandwich courses in which one year of professional teacher training is introduced within the period of study for a degree. The Government welcome such developments.




[page 24]

10. TRAINING FOR FURTHER EDUCATION

82. The Government accept that a much higher proportion of those teaching in further education should receive initial training - either before or after taking up appointment - and that they should have opportunities for further training later in their careers.

83. The James Committee proposed that teachers in further education should have an in-service training entitlement similar to that of teachers in schools and that those entering further education from training should in their first year receive the same kind of support as new teachers in schools, including release for one-fifth of their time for further training. They also recommended that every further education establishment should appoint a professional tutor. They recognised the practical problems of introducing compulsory training of all new entrants to further education teaching and suggested that as a first step it should be introduced on a limited scale for those intending to teach mainly the 16-19 age group.

84. Initial training is currently provided in three ways by the four colleges of education (technical). The traditional one-year full-time course - usually pre-service - is effective, but difficulties of attendance by mature students seem likely to inhibit expansion. Newly appointed teachers are sent by some authorities to attend a sandwich course consisting of two terms of training interleaved with two terms of supervised practice in the colleges to which they have been appointed. This method has certain proven advantages but, again, attendance can be difficult and co-ordination between the training and teaching practice elements needs strengthening. A growing number of further education teachers have more recently been able to attend part-time courses provided in their own or nearby colleges as extra-mural centres of the colleges of education (technical). While more convenient for the students, these courses impose greater demands on the training staff concerned.

85. At present only a minority of teachers recruited to further education is covered by these arrangements. The Government wish to see initial training become more widespread but they doubt whether it would be desirable or practicable to impose compulsory initial training on a category of teachers (such as those intending to teach mainly the 16-19 age group) which could not be easily defined in advance. All new teachers need a systematic introduction to their role in the work of their colleges: for those entering without formal training or substantial teaching experience this should be accompanied by a carefully planned introduction to teaching both at the beginning of their service and spread over the first year. The Government propose to discuss with local education authorities and others concerned whether and, if so, how soon a training requirement along these lines should be introduced for teachers newly appointed to further education; and to what extent the opportunities for teachers in further education to have in-service training should be improved.


[page 25]

86. The Government do not consider that the required expansion could be based on the four existing colleges of education (technical) alone; they see a clear need both to encourage the polytechnics and perhaps some other further education institutions to share in the training process and to give greater emphasis to regional considerations in planning training. These issues will be pursued in consultation with those concerned.




[page 26]

11. ORGANISATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF TEACHER TRAINING

87. Regional responsibility for the co-ordination and supervision of teacher training has, since the war. rested without major change with 20 Area Training Organisations (A.T.O.s), on which universities, colleges of education, local education authorities and the teaching profession are represented.

88. The radical recommendation of the James Committee that these organisations should be replaced and all their present functions assumed by new bodies virtually divorced from the universities has caused wide misgivings which the Government share.

89. It is important to distinguish the main functions that need to be discharged in relation to teacher training. In the Government's view these concern, respectively: academic validation, professional recognition, co-ordination, and higher education supply.

90. Academic validation is here taken to mean determining whether the conditions of entry to and the structure of courses, including school and other practical experience, the content and level of syllabuses and the standard of achievement required, justify the award of a certificate, diploma or degree. In the Government's view this function should remain the responsibility of existing academic bodies - the senates of universities, the academic boards of polytechnics and colleges of education and the Council for National Academic Awards (C.N.A.A.).

91. The Government expect, however, that these bodies will continue and, indeed, develop the arrangements by which the teaching profession and the local education authorities are associated closely with their work. Some colleges, singly or jointly with others as at present, may seek academic awards from a university, others from the C.N.A.A.

92. The function of professional recognition is to determine, first, whether the professional content, structure and standards of courses are such as to warrant the acceptance as qualified teachers of students who complete them satisfactorily; secondly, whether candidates for admission to the profession are acceptable on other than academic grounds; and thirdly, whether new entrants may be judged to have completed their probation satisfactorily and to be eligible for registration. The Government think it right that in the teaching profession, as in others, members of the profession should have a major, though not exclusive, role in the discharge of this function; and that in this context teachers in colleges and departments of education should be regarded, as they regard themselves, as members of the teaching profession no less than those who work in schools. Future arrangements should reflect this general principle.


[page 27]

93. The third function includes the promotion, co-ordination and supervision of in-service training, an improved system of induction, and the professional centres related to both; of the allocation of teaching practice; and of the distribution of teacher training courses, in number and kind, among higher education institutions.

94. By the fourth function, higher education supply, is meant the development, financial support and control of higher education institutions. The Government recognise that improved arrangements are required for planning and co-ordination in the non-university sector; this is discussed further in section 18 below. In the meantime responsibility for this function, both generally and in relation to teacher training, will continue to rest where it does now.

95. It is in respect of the third function that the Government share the view of the James Committee that new regional machinery is required. Effective co-ordination needs the close co-operation of the local education authorities, the training institutions and their staff, and the teaching profession. The Government therefore propose that after further consultation the Secretary of State should establish, in place of the existing university-based A.T.O.s, new regional committees to co-ordinate the education and training of teachers, composed in such a way as properly to reflect these three sets of interests. These committees will not have executive or financial responsibility for the services they co-ordinate; this will remain with the local education authorities and the training agencies who will need to include in their estimates suitable provision for in-service training. The administrative costs of the committees will be met by direct grant from the Department.

96. The demarcation of suitable regions for this purpose presents serious difficulties which cannot be resolved until firmer decisions can be reached on the fourth function identified above - supply. Meanwhile the Secretary of State hopes that the A.T.O.s will continue to discharge their existing responsibilities for both initial and in-service training.

97. There remains the question by what machinery the Secretary of State can best obtain the advice of the local authorities and other providing bodies, the teaching profession and the institutions themselves, on the discharge of her central responsibilities for teacher supply and training. The Government accept the recommendation on this matter of the Working Party which reported in 1970 (1) and the Secretary of State has it in mind after consultation to establish an Advisory Committee on the Supply and Training of Teachers broadly on the model then recommended.

98. The Government also agree with the report of the Working Party that a separate body is required to concern itself with the professional recognition functions referred to above. There is, however, no alternative to responsibility for professional recognition continuing to rest with the Secretary of State unless the outcome of any further discussions justifies her in deciding to share this responsibility with a Teaching Council set up on the lines recommended in the report. The Government are anxious, however,

(1) A Teaching Council for England and Wales. HMSO. 1970.


[page 28]

that in the meantime there should be arrangements for advising the Secretary of State on the discharge of this responsibility which would recognise the general principle that the profession should have a major but not exclusive voice. The Government propose to consult further with the interest concerned - the teachers, their employers and the institutions in which teachers are educated and trained - as to how this might best be effected.




[page 29]

12. AFTER SCHOOL AND BEYOND

99. In the stage beyond the school, the expressions "further", "advanced", "higher", "adult", "tertiary" and "recurrent" education are common currency but by no means self-explanatory.

100. "Further education" derives from the Act of 1944. Strictly it comprises the whole stage beyond secondary. But it is most often used to describe the activities of the mainly - but now far from exclusively - vocation-oriented institutions, most of which are maintained by local education authorities: polytechnics and other further education colleges including colleges of art, commerce and agriculture and, in some contexts, of education. These provide the main meeting ground between the world of education and industry, business and the professions - a partnership which the Government would like to see greatly strengthened.

101. The further education system has a vital contribution to make in ensuring that the country has a work force capable of meeting - at all levels - the changing demands of industry and commerce. The Government are concerned that employers should increase their support for further education by making full use of all its facilities, particularly those offered part-time - not only for employees in initial training but for those over 18 in need of up-dating and re-training. In this context plans are far advanced to give effect to the recommendations of the Haslegrave Committee (1) on the organisation of technician courses. Much of the work of further education colleges is also concerned with full- and part-time courses for those who leave school at 16. A lively account of them is to be found in a recent book published for the Department. (2)

102. "Advanced" courses are broadly those leading to qualifications of a higher standard than GCE Advanced level or its equivalents; this is also the basis on which the cost of their provision is shared among local education authorities.

103. In this paper the term "higher education" is used in the same sense as in the Robbins Report (3) to cover the full- and part-time work of universities, colleges of education and further education institutions so far as the last are concerned with "advanced" courses.

104. "Adult education" recalls first and foremost the pioneering efforts of the Workers' Educational Association, the extra-mural boards and the resi-

(1) Report of the Committee on Technician Courses and Examinations. HMSO. 1969.

(2) Inside the Colleges of Further Education. HMSO. 1971.

(3) Higher Education. HMSO. 1963.


[page 30]

dential colleges to expand the opportunity for university education to working men and women. Its boundaries, however, have been so enlarged by the subsequent work of local education authorities and others as to make it almost co-terminous with a large part of "further education". The Government propose to give it careful study in the light of the forthcoming report of the Committee on Adult Education which was appointed in 1969 under Sir Lionel Russell's chairmanship thoroughly to review the whole field.

105. "Tertiary" and "recurrent", though recent additions to the educational vocabulary, embrace concepts long familiar in further education. The first is concerned to stress that after the secondary school the need for a third stage of education is not confined by age or standard to those who can qualify for entry to "higher" education. The second concept emphasises a twofold need: to make good for individuals the absence or loss of earlier opportunities and to encourage the renewal of knowledge and skills made obsolete by the explosion of knowledge and the impact of technology on a rapidly changing environment. Institutions have been created or adapted to meet this need for post-experience courses. Birkbeck College is a long-standing example of one such creation; the Open University is an impressive modern one. Further and adult education have long and successfully responded to the need (1).

106. The divisions indicated by these definitions are artificial in that they present different faces of a broadly organised effort to enable all members of society, with their widely differing aspirations and capacities, once they have left school behind to learn where, when and what they want in the way that best suits them. So far as resources allow the Government wish to see advances made across the whole of this broad front. In what follows, however, special attention is paid to the development of higher education for two reasons. First, it is here that the greatest need exists for long-term planning to match growing demands and limited resources in relation to other priorities. Secondly, the Government believe that they have a contribution to make to the current debate about the objectives of higher education.

107. The motives that impel sixth formers to seek higher education are many, various and seldom clear-cut. A minority wish to continue for its own sake the study in depth of a specialised subject to the top of their bent. It is crucial for the world of scholarship, research and invention that their needs should be met. This has always been a leading function of the universities and must remain so. Some students have a specific career in mind. A larger number are anxious to develop over a wider field what the Robbins Committee called the general powers of the mind, but not without questioning whether a specialised honours degree course is the best way of achieving it. Some ask for no more than a stimulating opportunity to come to terms with themselves, and to discover where their real interests and abilities lie. Others have no better reason than involuntarily to fall in with the advice of their

(1) The Government announced in August 1972 the start of the new Training Opportunities Scheme, aimed at a major and continuing expansion of opportunities for individual men and women to prepare themselves, through appropriate combinations of education and training, for new employment over a wide field. The education service, and particularly establishments of further education, are expected to play a major part in the Scheme.


[page 31]

teachers and the example of their contemporaries. But not far from the surface of most candidates' minds is the tacit belief that higher education will go far to guarantee them a better job. All expect it to prepare them to cope more successfully with the problems that will confront them in their personal, social and working lives.

108. It is important that the last and most widespread of these expectations should not be disappointed. The Government have sympathy with the sincere desire on the part of a growing number of students to be given more help in acquiring - and discovering how to apply - knowledge and skills related more directly to the decisions that will face them in their careers and in the world of personal and social action. This is what is meant by "relevance". The wider the span of student motivation, the greater the need to match it with a wide and flexible choice of course. This is being achieved increasingly by a system of units and credits devised in such a way as to ease transfer from one course or institution to another - which should help students to retrieve false starts and make more possible the development of recurrent education.

109. The traditions of institutional autonomy and academic freedom place squarely on the universities, polytechnics and other higher education institutions responsibility for tackling these issues. Much valuable thought and experiment is being devoted to them. The Government would like to see still more. They welcome in particular the research into the construction of university courses initiated by the Nuffield Foundation and innovations made by a number of polytechnics in co-operation with the Council for National Academic Awards. The latter are designed to enable students to pursue coherent courses which draw on a number of related disciplines, reflect individual needs and, while not narrowly vocational, have high relevance to the world of work. The Government believe, however, that they have identified a gap that still remains in the growing manifold of options that await the choice of school leavers well qualified by their examination results to enter higher education.


[page 32]

13. DIPLOMA OF HIGHER EDUCATION

110. Those who wish to continue their education have the choice either of entering employment and doing so part-time, or, in the main, of committing themselves to a course lasting not less than three years. Only a limited range of two-year courses is available at present, all in specific vocational areas.

111. The Government consider this gap ought now to he filled. They believe that a range of intellectually demanding two-year courses will be a critical element in achieving greater flexibility in higher education. They welcome the James Committee's recognition of the potential of two-tear courses, but the proposals which follow are designed to serve a wider purpose than that envisaged in their Report.

112. As a result of their consultations on the Report, the Government conclude that there is sufficient support for the introduction of new two-year courses, leading to a Diploma of Higher Education (Dip. H.E.), with the following six characteristics:

Standard

They must offer a genuine and useful addition to those forms of higher education already available, not a cheap substitute for any of them. This means that they must be no less demanding intellectually than the first two years of a course at degree level. Thus the normal minimum entry qualification should be the same as for degrees or comparable courses (1).

Availability

Courses on the lines proposed should be seen as a new option to be offered by institutions in each of the main sectors of higher education. It is intended that both general and specialised courses should be made available.

Acceptability

The qualification offered after two years must be made generally acceptable as a terminal qualification and in particular as a qualification needed for entry to appropriate forms of employment. Clearly the full achievement of this will depend on experience o( courses offered and of the capacities achieved by the students who have completed them. The Government will undertake discussions with the appropriate organisations to explore the question of acceptability; meanwhile as employers themselves they will consider how the qualifications might be fitted into their arrangements for recruitment to the public service.

(1) Five GCE passes including two at Advanced level (or the equivalent).


[page 33]

Credit

Courses should also be seen as providing a foundation for further study and be designed, where appropriate, in such a way as to earn credit towards other qualifications, including degrees and the requirements of professional bodies. This objective would be more readily achieved if courses were developed on a unit basis offering students the opportunity of a programme which could be modified as their interests and career plans unfolded -and if this principle became more common in longer courses as well.

Validation

Courses should be validated by existing degree-awarding bodies. The Government welcome the willingness of the Council for National Academic Awards to undertake this responsibility; they believe that a number of universities will wish to offer the Dip. H.E. themselves and be prepared to validate courses where colleges do not seek validation from the C.N.A.A.

Awards

It is the Government's intention thai Dip. H.E. students should qualify for mandatory awards.

113. Careful attention will need to be given to the relationship of the Dip. H.E. to the Higher National Diploma and to other courses and qualifications which will be the concern of the Technician and Business Education Councils which are now being set up, following the recommendations of Report of the Committee on Technician Courses and Examinations (the Haslegrave Report).


[page 34]

14. NUMBERS AND COSTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

114. The Government of 1963 endorsed the general principle, following the Report of the Robbins Committee, that courses of higher education should be available for all those who were qualified by ability and attainment to pursue them and who wished to do so. Successive Governments since have followed this principle and, despite the pressures of economic stringency and competing claims, higher education institutions have been enabled to grow and to keep pace broadly with the rising numbers of those qualified for and seeking higher education. The number of full-time and sandwich higher education students in Great Britain more than doubled from 192,000 in (academic year) 1961-62 to 463,000 in 1971-72; in the same period the number of part-time (day) students rose from 42,000 to 70,000.

115. The impetus of increasing staying-on in education to 18 will continue beyond the raising of the school leaving age; and the proportion of young people achieving qualifications at the Advanced level of the General Certificate of Education (or its equivalent) will also continue to increase. The planning of higher education provision must make allowance for this, as well as for the increasing size of these age groups over the next ten years. Much harder to foresee, however, is the likely trend in the attitudes and intentions of those young people towards higher education and their requirements within it.

116. The subsequent career patterns of some of those taking degrees or parallel higher education qualifications in future, for example, must be expected to differ significantly from those of their predecessors. The expansion of higher education provision has already reached the point where employers' requirements for such highly qualified people in the forms of employment they traditionally enter are, in the aggregate, largely being met. These patterns of employment are already changing and will continue to change as employers increasingly take the opportunity to enlarge the areas of work in which more highly educated and qualified recruits can be placed advantageously. Even so, there seems little doubt that the continuing expansion of higher education will more than match the likely expansion of graduate employment opportunities as these are understood today.

117. Opportunities for higher education are not however to be determined primarily by reference to broad estimates of the country's future need for highly qualified people; although attempts to relate supply to likely demand in certain specialised professions - and, particularly, at the postgraduate stage - will be no less important than before. The Government consider higher education valuable for its contribution to the personal development of those who pursue it; at the same time they value its continued expansion as an investment in the nation's human talent in a time of rapid social change and technological development. If these economic, personal and social aims are to be realised within the limits of available resources and competing priorities, both the


[page 35]

purposes and the nature of higher education, in all its diversity, must be critically and realistically examined. The continuously changing relationship between higher education and subsequent employment should be reflected both in the institutions' and in individuals' choices. The Government hope that those who contemplate entering higher education - and those advising them - will the more carefully examine their motives and their requirements; and be sure that they form their judgment on a realistic assessment of its usefulness to their interests and career intentions.

118. The possibility of significant changes of this kind, alongside the uncertainties inherent in trying to predict matters of human behaviour some ten years ahead, makes it difficult to offer more than tentative estimates of the likely level of demand from qualified applicants for higher education places by the end of the decade. On a balanced judgment, however, the Government would expect to be providing by about 1981 for something of the order of 200,000 entrants annually from within Great Britain aged under 21. This would represent about 22 per cent of the age group then aged 18: compared with 7 per cent in 1961 and 15 per cent in 1971. Further uncertainty arises about the total number of places such an entry might imply. For example, the Government would not consider it justifiable to maintain, with so large an entry, the proportionate share that has been devoted to postgraduate work in recent years. And it is hard to know how many within the entry might choose a shorter course leading to the Diploma of Higher Education if these developed successfully on the lines indicated in the preceding section. Allowing also that provision for more mature entrants and for entrants from overseas would not grow proportionately so fast as that for young entrants, the Government consider that needs will be met within a total of 750,000 full-time and sandwich course higher education places in 1981. This figure has accordingly been adopted as the basis for the Government's longer-term planning in higher education.

119. Following the Report of the Robbins Committee in 1963 the fastest rate of expansion, but starting from a relatively small base, was in the polytechnics and other maintained colleges offering advanced further education. The colleges of education also achieved remarkable growth, now completed, to meet and overcome the shortage of qualified teachers. Even so, as the following table shows, universities were still providing for over half the higher education students in Great Britain by 1971-72.

TABLE 1

Distribution of Full-time or Sandwich Course Higher Education Students in Great Britain:
1971-72

Thousands

England
and
Wales
ScotlandGreat
Britain
Universities19838236
Advanced Further Education90999
Colleges of Education114(1)14128
TOTAL40261463

(1) Including some 3,000 in polytechnic departments of education.


[page 36]

120. For the future, the Government are planning on the basis that the fastest expansion should continue to be in the polytechnics and other non- university colleges, with the intention that by 1981 there might be an approximate balance of about 375,000 places in each of the university and the non-university sectors in Great Britain: within which about 335,000 places would be in the non-university higher education institutions of England and Wales.

121. The responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Education and Science cover all higher education in England and Wales and universities throughout Great Britain (including Scotland). The proposals in the remainder of this section therefore relate only to the area of her responsibilities; they do not deal with non-university higher education in Scotland which will be covered in a separate White Paper presented by the Secretary of State for Scotland.

122. The Government confidently count on the co-operation of the authorities and institutions on whom the achievement of the further very substantial expansion will depend. It will, however, involve a rapid growth in public expenditure; and the Government have accordingly been examining in some detail how the objectives of the programme can be achieved most effectively and economically.

123. They are encouraged by the widespread recognition that there is scope for change and greater flexibility in higher education. For example, the introduction and general adoption of new courses leading to a Diploma of Higher Education (as discussed in Section 13) could enable many students to achieve in two years, instead of three or more, as much higher education as they aspire to between school and first employment: a change which might well be accompanied and supported by enlarged opportunities to take up serious study again in later life.

124. Similarly there could be more widespread adoption of the practice of a break between a student's leaving school and his embarking on higher education, enabling him to gain more experience of the world and use his higher education to better purpose. The Government welcome developments of this kind and wish to encourage them: first, because they will lead students to gain more from their higher education, although they would also make a contribution to easing the financial burden the expansion will impose.

125. But these must in their nature be questions for the longer term. More immediate questions arise on the current running costs of the institutions and courses in their present pattern. In the past decade of rapid expansion, during which many new institutions of higher education have been founded and others have greatly enlarged both their horizons and their student numbers, there have been heavy initial costs to bear. If expansion is to continue as indicated in the decade ahead, unit costs cannot be allowed to go on rising and scope must be found for economies of scale. Some initial provision for economies has indeed already been made in the University Grants Committee's quinquennial settlement (see Section 15 below); and the Government propose a continuing review in the course of future quinquennial and Rate Support Grant negotiations.

126. For example, since so much of the expenditure in higher education is


[page 37]

incurred in the employment of teaching staff, and there is at present great diversity in staffing standards between different kinds of institution and different kinds of course, economies should follow more effective staff use. The Government's view is that the financing of universities and of non-university higher education should be based on the assumption that staff:student ratios could be modified by the end of the decade to an average level of about 10:1. They consider that a gradual transition to this average figure should be possible without lowering standards.

127. The continuing expansion of higher education which the Government are proposing will require substantial provision to be made for the residential accommodation as well as the tuition of students. This is an essential component of the programme and, as will be seen below, substantial provision is being made for it. At the same time, the Government share the frequently-expressed view that it is unrealistic and unnecessary for such a high proportion of students to reside and study at a distance if equally acceptable courses are available to them within daily travelling distance of their homes. In universities, for example, only 16 per cent of students are home based. The case is different in advanced further education, where the proportion of students provided with residential places has always been far lower; but here too the Government will expect polytechnics and colleges to do all they can to encourage students to live at home and not to add to the demand for hostels or the competition for lodgings which is bound to arise in many places from the proposed expansion.

128. Both educational and practical complications make this a difficult question, and opinions may well differ as to the educational and social advantages of residence and the justification for subsidising its expansion. The Government are examining what steps might be taken to reverse the present trend and thus encourage many more students to base themselves at home while studying. They do not believe that this problem can be solved either by this means or by the provision of additional residential facilities alone; there will have to be substantial progress in both of these directions.


[page 38]

15. THE UNIVERSITIES

129. It is in the light of all these considerations that the Government have considered the advice of the University Grants Committee on the development of the universities during the 1972-77 quinquennium. They have decided that, subject to the annual approval of Estimates by Parliament in the normal way, the following grants should be made available towards expenditure on recurrent items and on equipment:

Academic YearRecurrent grant
m
Equipment grant
m
1972-73252.023.5
1973-74263.024.5
1974-75276.025.5
1975-76292.027.0
1976-77309.029.0
1,392.0129.5

These figures take account of the Government's intention to arrest the tendency of unit costs to rise (at constant prices) from year to year.

130. The grants are at 1972 Survey prices. Before they are allocated to the universities by the University Grants Committee they will be revalued to take account of subsequent price increases. In addition some transfers will be made within the recurrent, equipment and capital grants in order to give universities greater flexibility in the use of their resources.

131. The recurrent grant of 252.0 million for 1972-73 compares with the provisional allocation of 250.3 million (248.5 million announced in November 1971 plus 1.8 million for vacation and field study courses). In addition; compensation of 7.4 million will be paid during 1972-73 for price increases which occurred in the previous academic year.

132. The Government are planning in the longer term on the assumption that by 1981 there will be of the order of 375,000 full-time (including sandwich) students in the universities. This compares with 236,000 such students in 1971-72. In that year there were also part-time students equivalent to an additional 13,000 full-time students, making 249,000 in all.

133. In arriving at the broad target of full-time student number to be achieved in 1976-77 the Government have taken into account the estimated numbers of qualified school leavers, the growing opportunities for them to obtain entry to degree courses outside the universities, the short-term rate of expansion involved having regard to the additional capacity already provided for in building programmes, and the desirability of maintaining a reasonably smooth rate of increase over the period 1971-81. These considerations have led them to include in the grants shown above provision for 254,000 undergraduates by 1976-77.


[page 39]

134. The number of postgraduate students increased from 35,000 in 1967-68 to 45,000 (of whom about a quarter were from overseas) in 1971-72: that is, from 17½ per cent to 19 per cent of full-time students. The Government have made provision for this number to be increased in the new quinquennium by 7,000 to 52,000, representing 17 per cent of a total of 306,000 full-time students. They hope that, as a means of strengthening the universities' contribution to the initial and in-service programme of teacher training, and to research in education, it will be possible to include in this additional number about 1,000 extra places for postgraduate students of education.

135. The grants shown above are therefore intended to enable the universities to reach a total of 306,000 full-time students and at the same time to increase the number of part-time students to the full-time equivalent of 15,500; making 321,500 in all.

136. The Government have told the University Grants Committee that they would think it reasonable to plan on the assumption that 47 per cent of the full-time students in 1976-77 will be arts-based and 53 per cent will be science-based. This would represent a small movement towards the arts and would reduce the present disparities between the opportunities for arts candidates and science candidates to obtain admission.

137. It is important to distinguish between students and places. Full-time students do not require places when they are away on sandwich and other courses. Many part-time students can be accommodated without the provision of extra places. In May 1970 the University Grants Committee issued a preliminary and tentative memorandum of guidance which was intended to establish a framework within which universities might start to consider their individual plans for the 1972-77 quinquennium. The Committee stated that their expectation was that the figures it contained might need to be revised after discussions had taken place with the universities and with the Government. The memorandum was based on a total of 320,000 places. Underlying this figure was a total of about 331,500 students (of whom 316,000 would be full-time and 15,500 would represent the full-time equivalent of part-time students). It was assumed that the full-time students would need 313,000 places (since at any time 3,000 students would be away on sandwich or other courses) and that the part-time students would need 7,000 places.

138. Under the settlement for 321,500 students now made by the Government a total of 310,000 places will be required. Of these 303,000 would be for full-time students on campus and 7,000 for part-time students. It is assumed that 3,000 full-time students would be away on sandwich and other courses. Most of the places are already available or are being provided in building programmes up to and including that for 1972-73. The 1973-74 building programme, which the Government announced last year, is expected to provide some 9,000 further places. In order that the remaining requirements for places may be met the Government have decided to allocate 29 million for the building programme for 1974-75.

139. In the context of the policy for student accommodation described above, the Government have again taken special note of the need for more residential places in deciding on this amount. They hope that it will thus be


[page 40]

possible to provide for a further 11,000 places to be started in 1974-75 and that as a result the total number in 1975-76 may rise to about 130,000. Further provision will be made in the 1975-76 programme. This has yet to be settled but already the general prospect is that extra places will be available for some two-thirds of the additional students expected in the quinquennium.

140. In the light of the advice of the University Grants Committee the Government are satisfied that the new 1976-77 target of student numbers can be achieved without adding to the number of universities. However, the Committee intend in due course to advise the Government whether in their view an early decision in principle will need to be made to establish one or more universities to be active some time in the 1980s.



[page 41]

16. POLYTECHNICS AND OTHER FURTHER EDUCATION COLLEGES

141. The substantial expansion of higher education proposed in Section 14 will leave the non-university institutions with the formidable task of providing, at present estimates, for some 335,000 full-time and sandwich students in England and Wales in 1981. This compares with 204,000 in 1971-72 and points to a net expansion of some 130,000.

142. The major part of the 1981 total must be provided by the polytechnics. Their development plans suggest that they are capable of reaching the target of 180,000 places at which they have been encouraged to aim. The Government will look to the local education authorities and the governing bodies and staffs of the polytechnics to ensure that they can play the key role in this expansion. They have been impressed by the speed and vigour with which these new institutions have assumed and pursued their innovative task. This gives great promise of their ability to fulfil the individual plans which they are formulating in discussion with the Department.

143. The process of expansion is already well under way. Compared with the 7 million for polytechnic building projects to be started in 1972-73, the allocation for 1973-74 is 19 million. For the following year the substantial figure of 27 million has been earmarked and the Secretary of State has notified local education authorities of the projects on which detailed planning can be put in hand with a view to building work starting in that year. In addition, 3 million in 1973-74 and 5 million in 1974-75 have been allocated for residential accommodation. All this accommodation is expected to be in use by the end of 1977. At the same time the needs of other colleges of further education, many of which cater for advanced courses, have been recognised: 36 million has been allocated to major building projects to be started at these colleges in the period 1973-75. Provision will be made in later programmes for any additional expansion required.

144. To meet the Government's plans the other colleges of further education and the colleges of education will also need to expand to provide a total of about 155,000 places. At present these colleges together provide for some 138,000 students. As a result of changes in the role and organisation of the colleges of education some of these places may cease to be available for higher education and will have to be made good. Alongside the expansion of full-time and sandwich courses, the Government will expect to see provision also of the widest possible range of opportunities for part-time study.

145. In the planning of the expansion there are three sets of considerations, far from easy to reconcile, to which the Government attach importance. The first concerns the concentration in some areas of very large numbers of students on a scale which presents acute problems of residence and transport. Many cities have within or near them as well as a university and a polytechnic one or


[page 42]

more large colleges of education. This will lead the Government to question any proposal that in this context a college of education should be expanded to form a separate third centre.

146. A second, opposite, consideration is that an institution capable of providing higher education courses adequate in standard and range must reach a critical size to obtain full economies of scale. This will set a limit to the number of further education colleges that can expect to provide advanced full-time and sandwich courses, but leaves room for expansion of such provision in many of those colleges that already make it. The same factor makes it extremely difficult to see how a small or isolated college of education can hope to make on its own the wider contribution to higher education that it would like.

147. There remains a third relevant factor. Side by side with the expansion of social demand for higher education will grow the expectation that wherever possible provision of courses should be made within reasonable reach of their homes for part-time students who wish to combine study with employment; there is also a need for a higher proportion of full-time students to be based at home. This reinforces the need to give even more attention than in the past to the geographical distribution of opportunity.



[page 43]

17. COLLEGES OF EDUCATION

148. The Government's plans will require more teachers. Earlier sections have already indicated a potential demand by 1981 (subject to uncertainties about the future birth-rate) made up as follows:

(i) about 465,000 (full-time equivalent) qualified teachers needed not merely to maintain existing staffing standards for pupils aged five and over, in the face of increased numbers and the changing age distribution, but also to secure the progressive further staffing improvement for which the Government are planning (paragraph 51);

(ii) upwards of 25,000 for pupils below the age of five, to staff the planned expansion of nursery education (paragraph 32);

about 20,000 to permit, without loss of staffing standards, the release of teachers for in-service training and of probationers who will be undertaking additional training during their induction period following the Government's acceptance of these recommendations of the James Report (paragraph 72).

In order to be ready to meet these needs when the time comes, the Government propose - as in paragraph 52 - that planning should be directed to securing the employment of about 510,000 (full-time equivalent) qualified teachers in maintained schools by 1981.

149. The attainment of a teaching force of this size will not require its present net growth by 18,000-20,000 a year to be continued indefinitely. There must soon, therefore, be some reduction in the rate of recruitment. The schools recruit their teachers mainly from three sources: direct from three- and four-year courses in the colleges and polytechnic departments of education; direct from the one-year postgraduate courses in universities and colleges; and from among the large numbers of qualified teachers, mainly married women, who are out of service and can be attracted back into the schools. The effect on the colleges of the reduction in recruitment will depend in part on the preference of employers among these three sources.

150. On present trends the best estimate which the Government can make is that the number of initial training places required in the colleges and polytechnic departments of education by 1981 will be 60,000-70,000 compared with the 1971-72 figure of about 114,000(1). This will involve stronger competition for entry to training than in the past, with the welcome result that standards will be raised substantially. This figure of 60,000-70,000 assumes that after allowing for the increase in the provision to be made by the university departments of education noted in paragraph 134, such expansion as is needed in one-year postgraduate courses will take place in the colleges. Within the same broad total there will have to be increased emphasis on training for nursery education.

(1) At present some 3,000 of this total of 114,000 initial training places are in polytechnics.


[page 44]

151. Provision will be needed to give effect to the Government's decision greatly to expand the number and variety of in-service courses and to reinforce the induction process for teachers, released for the purpose during their first year of service. This task will fall not only on the colleges; it will be shared by the university departments of education, the polytechnics, teachers' and professional centres, the advisory staffs of local education authorities and H.M. Inspectorate. If the colleges' share were to be two-thirds, the teaching load would add up to the equivalent of about 15,000 full-time students by 1981. The outlook therefore is that the number of places in the colleges devoted to the preparation of teachers will be reduced by 1981 to 75,000-85,000.

152. The quality and experience of their staff and the strength of their physical resources admirably equip a number of the colleges to share in the expansion higher education. The Government intend that, subject to what was said in paragraph 145, some colleges either singly or jointly should develop over the period into major institutions of higher education concentrating on the arts and human sciences, with particular reference to their application in teaching and other professions. Others will be encouraged to combine forces with neighbouring polytechnics or other colleges of further education to fill a somewhat similar role.

153. Many of the 160 colleges are, however, comparatively small and inconveniently located for development into larger general purpose institutions. Some of these will continue to be needed exclusively for purposes of teacher education with increasing emphasis on in-service rather than initial training Some may seek greater strength by reciprocal arrangements with the Open University on the lines of the experiment recently initiated. Others may find a place in the expansion of teachers' and professional centres. Some must face the possibility that in due course they will have to be converted to new purposes; some may need to close.

154. The Government know that some colleges would like a more complete integration with the university sector of higher education and that some universities would welcome this in the case of particular colleges. To be fully effective educationally such integration would need, in the long run, to be complete and to be planned accordingly: staff, students and courses would need to become equal and integral parts of the institution concerned. The Government do not believe that a college should be encouraged to combine forces with another higher education institution on any lesser basis. A university's numbers thus enlarged would form part of the total target numbers for the university population set out in Sections 14 and 15.

155. The Government have been pleased to learn that the providing and governing bodies of many of the voluntary colleges, while not unaware of the difficulties, will wish to participate in these developments outside teacher education and look forward to further central and regional discussions in which they hope the local education authorities will join, to consider how such participation can best be arranged. Difficult problems of organisation and finance will be involved and a change from direct grant to some form of assisted status might contribute to a solution.

156. The last few paragraphs can leave no doubt that if, as most of them earnestly wish, the colleges of education are to find a fuller and firmer place


[page 45]

the higher education family, their staffs must face major changes. The Government will be initiating consultations about the fairest ways of protecting the legitimate interests of teaching staff who might be adversely affected.

157. These developments have many implications for the organisation of the non-university sector of higher education, which is the subject of the next section.




[page 46]

18. THE ORGANISATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION

158. Last year, after long and helpful discussions between the Secretary of State and the local authority associations, it was agreed in principle that improved arrangements were needed for the co-ordination and provision of higher education in the non-university sector if the anticipated programme of expansion was to be planned to the best advantage. These discussions were temporarily adjourned, partly because the associations were heavily engaged with the reform of local government and partly because it was not possible to anticipate the recommendations of the James Committee. The discussions will shortly be resumed and will be much helped by the recent decision of the associations to set up the Local Authorities' Higher Education Committee whose function it is "to consider and advise on the provision, co-ordination and future development of higher education in the local authority sector".

159. The earlier discussions were concerned at first with the planning only of the polytechnic programme but were soon broadened to cover all the colleges that provide advanced courses. The need to include the colleges of education in a reformed system remained unresolved, not least because of the difficulty of fitting the direct grant voluntary colleges into a system of local government finance based upon the pooling of expenditure.

160. The logic of the conclusions recorded in this White Paper is that, leaving aside those colleges which find their eventual home in a university, the substantial broadening of function proposed for the great majority of colleges of education will involve their much closer assimilation into the rest of the non-university sector of further and higher education. Put another way, a college which expands and diversifies, either alone or by joining forces with a sister college or a further education institution - enlarging the range of its courses and extending its clientele - will not be easily distinguishable by function from a polytechnic or other further education college.

161. The Church of England Board of Education have expressed their general sympathy and support for what the Government wish to achieve on the understanding shared with them that nothing must be done which will obscure the special insights they have brought to the creation of educative communities. Discussions with the Roman Catholic authorities and other voluntary bodies about the future of their colleges are still at a preliminary stage, and it is already clear that they wish to maintain their concern for the training of teachers.

162. The renewed discussions with the associations will need not only to return to all these questions but also to review the composition, functions and boundaries of the Regional Advisory Councils for Further Education. There would be obvious advantages if it proved possible to define new boundaries which coincided with those to be determined for the proposed regional


[page 47]

co-ordinating committees for teacher training. In both contexts the problems posed by the concentration of colleges in the Greater London area and the south-east region will require separate discussion, not least with the Inner London Education Authority, the University of London and the London Institute of Education.




[page 48]

19. PUBLIC EXPENDITURE IMPLICATIONS

163. The proposals described in the previous sections are intended to be implemented, in the main, during the present decade. Some indication of the costs of certain of these measures has been given in the appropriate sections; this section attempts to show how the pattern of public expenditure on education might have changed by 1981-82.

164. This can naturally be only a very tentative forecast. Many of the children to be educated then are not born yet, and their number is uncertain. The Government must be free to vary the pace of development of these new measures according to the circumstances, including for example the response to the proposed development of nursery education and in-service training from parents and teachers respectively. And no forecast can be usefully offered at this stage for the important sectors of education which have not been under review on this occasion, e.g. non-advanced further education, adult education and special education.

165. Within these limitations, it is possible to oiler some indication of the orders of magnitude of expenditure on primary and secondary schools (including nursery provision and in-service training for teachers) and on higher education (including initial training for teachers) that could result in 1981-82 if the aims set out earlier in this paper were achieved by that date. Provisional out-turn expenditure figures for 1971-72 are included for comparison. All the figures are at 1972 Survey prices.

166. Table 2 gives such an indication for the schools sector. On the above basis, the capital expenditure necessary for the expansion of nursery provision and for the extension of in-service training would have been almost wholly incurred by 1981 and is accordingly not reflected in the 1981-82 figures. Moreover, as explained in paragraph 35, few new school places will need to be started in the later part of this decade to cater for growth of school population, though there will still be a need to provide for movement to new housing areas.

Table 2

Public Expenditure on maintained Nursery, Primary and Secondary Schools

m: 1972 Survey prices

1971-721981-82
Recurrentassumed
    Under fives42120
    In-service training and induction655
    Fives and over: teacher' salary costs7821,090
    Fives and over: other costs350545
Total recurrent1,1801,810
Capital
    Basic needs26395
    Replacement and improvement3295
Total capital295190
Total schools1,4752,000


[page 49]

167. A similar indication for the higher education sector is given in Table 3. No division of this expenditure by type of institution can usefully be attempted this far ahead.

Table 3

Public Expenditure on Higher Education

m: 1972 Survey prices

1971-721981-82
assumed
Recurrent576945
Capital111175
Total Higher Education6871,120

168. Thus on the basis of the assumptions made in the preceding paragraphs, the total annual expenditure in these two sectors - which together account for some three-quarters but not the whole of the education expenditure within the Secretary of State's responsibility - could rise by some 960 million over the decade 1971-72 to 1981-82, from 2,162 million to some 3,120 million. Within this overall increase, annual expenditure in the two sectors would grow at different rates, mainly for demographic reasons. In the schools sector the increase would correspond to an annual rate of growth of some 3 per cent, which may be compared with a figure of 2½ per cent(1) for the decade 1961-62 to 1971-72. For the higher education sector, where the very rapid expansion of the 1960s gave an annual growth rate over that decade of some 6½ per cent(1), the corresponding figure for the decade to 1981-82 would be some 5 per cent.

169. These percentage figures are very vulnerable to the uncertainties of longer-term forecasting, and are not of great significance in themselves. But, taken together, they illustrate the Government's intention to continue the expansion of the education service; and, at the same time, reflect their judgment and intentions as to respective rates of expansion within the growing total. The government believe that these constitute a balanced programme which builds upon the successes already achieved and will match, as they develop, the different requirements of the decade ahead.

(1) After discounting the impact of the relative price effect.