9. If he will have discussions with the Secretary of State for Education on the merits of including GCSE religious studies within the English baccalaureate. (155333)
The education division of the Church of England has continually put the case for support for religious education as an integral part of the national curriculum to officials and Ministers at the Department for Education.
Does the hon. Gentleman share the concerns of religious studies teachers in my constituency that the decision not to include the subject in the EBacc will have a negative impact on the number of young people taking it at GCSE?
Whatever anybody thinks of any other Member, I think the House will agree that the burden on the Second Church Estates Commissioner is immense and the learning and reading are extensive. We are grateful to the hon. Gentleman.
Before we move on to the next business, I inform the House that nominations for candidates for the post of Chair of the Backbench Business Committee closed at 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon. Only one nomination was received and therefore a ballot will not be taking place. I congratulate, upon her re-election as Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, Natascha Engel.