HC Deb 05 December 1968 vol 774 cc1827-8
28. Mr. Christopher Price

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps the Schools Council is taking to improve the religious studies curriculum in the schools.

Miss Bacon

A committee of the Council keeps religious education under review. The Council is mounting a project in primary schools and is considering the possibility of another in the secondary field. Several current projects also have a bearing on religious education.

Mr. Price

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many of the people engaged in these projects on religious education are coming increasingly to the conclusion that the compulsory requirement for religious education and the agreed syllabus that goes with it is, at the moment, the biggest single obstacle to getting the sort of genuine syllabus for moral education that the Secretary of State has so often said he is so keen on?

Miss Bacon

If my hon. Friend is right in that assumption, this will be apparent when we receive the results of these projects.

Mr. van Straubenzee

Does the right hon. Lady appreciate that the views expressed by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Perry Barr (Mr. Christopher Price) are shared by quite a large number of those who have a very deep interest in this subject? But does she not feel that those who are at work on it, notably the Bishop of Durham's Committee, should be listened to before she makes any major changes?

Miss Bacon

Yes, Sir. Before making any major changes—if, indeed, changes are necessary—we shall listen to all views, including those mentioned by the hon. Gentleman.