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Religious Instruction

Volume 531: debated on Thursday 29 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Education approximately how many teachers have qualified in religious instruction, and how many are now officiating in this respect; what hymn books are in general use for the purpose of worship in schools; and to what extent attention is given in teachers' training colleges to the most effective means of conveying moral and ethical values in religious instruction to be subsequently given to school children by those specially qualified in this subject.

The number of teachers in service who have passed an examination in religious knowledge during or after their training is not known. In primary schools religious instruction is usually given by the class teacher; in secondary schools there is a growing tendency for it to be given by specialist teachers. The choice of hymn books is a matter for the teachers and managers or governors of each school. I am satisfied that the moral and ethical aspects of religious knowledge are much in the minds of those responsible for the subject in training colleges.