asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has completed his consultations on the introduction of inspection of religious education in schools.
Yes. I have consulted a wide range of educational and religious interests. The framework for inspection proposed by Her Majesty's Inspectorate has been generally welcomed and I am satisfied that there are no practical issues which stand in the way of its introduction. I intend therefore to make a commencement order shortly to bring into effect on 1 January 1983 section 16 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1981, which repeals the statutory bar on inspection of religious subjects in schools contained in section 66(2) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980.A start will be made with the inspection of religious education in the spring term of 1983. an experienced and suitably qualified inspector of schools will take on responsibilities as national specialist inspector and a specialist in religious education will be recruited as soon as possible.I look forward to successful co-operation with education authorities, specialist teachers in the schools and the expert advisers of the various religious denominations.