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Religious Instruction

Volume 129: debated on Tuesday 15 March 1988

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30.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what discussions he has had with Church leaders and representatives of the teaching profession about improving the teaching of religious instruction.

71.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to ensure religious education in schools, following enactment of the Education Reform Bill.

My right hon. Friend and I have had a number of meetings in recent months with Church leaders and representatives about the place of religious education in the national curriculum and the quality of religious education provision. The Education Reform Bill clarifies the duty on local education authorities, governing bodies and head teachers to comply with the 1944 Act provisions relating to religious education. It also proposes a procedure under which parents and others will have a right of complaint to their local education authority or to aided school governors in cases where they believe schools are failing to provide religious education in accordance with the law.

61.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received regarding the possible inclusion of religious education as a foundation subject within the core curriculum; and if he will make a statement.

96.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what reconsideration he has given, in the light of representations from Christian leaders and bodies, to the absence of religious education from the national curriculum; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations from Christian leaders and bodies about the possible inclusion of religious education as a foundation subject in the national curriculum. In response to these, my right hon. Friend and I have stressed the importance we attach to maintaining the current statutory arrangements for local determination of religious education syllabuses.The position of religious education in the curriculum of maintained schools is secured by the relevant provisions of the 1944 Act and the Education Reform Bill strengthens these in certain respects.