asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what consultations have been instigated by his Department following the publication of the Swann report on ethnic minority education.
The Department is currently exploring with the education service and the ethnic minorities the collection of ethnically based statistics, and will be seeking views shortly on how best to increase the proportion of ethnic minority teachers. Other consultations will follow in due course.
Will my hon. Friend confirm that there will continue to be a strong emphasis on religious education in our schools?
Yes, Sir. We have made it plain on many occasions that we are committed to upholding the provisions of the Education Act 1944 relating to religious education in schools and, of course, morning assembly.
I recently visited two weekend schools where the culture, religion and language of the ethnic minority concerned are taught out of school time. Is that not a most commendable practice?
Entirely so. Much can be done within the maintained school system, but I look to the ethnic minorities themselves to teach their culture, standards and language out of school times and at weekends, when they can most adequately do so.
Does the Minister realise how important it is for the integration and wholesomeness of British society that the recommendations in the Swann report should be regarded and some action taken on them?