Would my right hon. Friend agree that the recent publication, "Crisis in the Classroom", underlines the need for improving standards of literacy in primary schools?
I accept that that is a factor-the Government are entitled to draw attention to that - but the Secretary of State will not cavil at the suggestion that there is a real Crisis in the Classroom and that the introduction of Munn and Dunning, the 16 to 18-year-old action plan, at a time when resources are becoming more and more inadequate, has complicated the business of educating the children and running the schools.
We all have our personal pet theories about what is the real Crisis in the Classroom, or even whether there is such a crisis, but I believe that real the crisis in the classroom is a spiritual one - a crisis of meaning.
It is a pity that the Secretary of State for Education and Employment is unwilling to recognise the growing Crisis in Our Classrooms caused by a lack of teachers and problems of recruitment.
If the hon. Lady is not prepared to acknowledge that those teachers are feeling demoralised and disillusioned, in part because of the burdens that are being placed on them, the Crisis in Our Classrooms, begun under the previous Administration, will continue under her Government.
Given the recently released figures showing that the Government will yet again miss the teacher recruitment target - which the Government reduced, despite the fact that there are still 10,000 teacher vacancies in our schools - when will they accept the Real Classroom Crisis of teaching recruitment and do something about it?