HC Deb 08 February 1968 vol 758 cc641-2
25. Mr. Rose

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, what research is being undertaken by his Department into methods of introducing educational courses designed to eliminate racial prejudices.

37. Mr. Hunt

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he is satisfied with the content of the instructional material currently being used in primary and secondary schools for the encouragement of racial tolerance and understanding; and what research is at present being undertaken by his Department in this field.

Miss Bacon

Teachers themselves decide what instructional materials to use. Guidance about sources of information on teaching for international understanding is contained in the Department's Circular No. 9/67 and short courses on this subject are held regularly. No research is being undertaken by the Department in this field but a study of topics connected with race is to be included in the work of the Schools Council Humanities Curriculum Project.

Mr. Rose

What materials are currently being used? Will my right hon. Friend ensure that all educational materials to be used in future are designed to overcome national and racial prejudices and promote mutual tolerance, and will she apply some of the education to the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell)?

Miss Bacon

It would be difficult to give a list of the exact materials which are being used in schools, but I would certainly let my hon. Friend have some information about this. We take the matter very seriously indeed, and we have a great many very valuable short courses for teachers.

Mr. Ronald Bell

Will the right hon. Lady be very careful that she does not allow the schools and the control of the curriculum in them to be used to inculcate the political views of Left-wing Members of the party opposite in children who are defenceless against that kind of thing?

Miss Bacon

I think that that is a monstrous suggestion. As far as we are concerned, it is our job to see that all the children in our schools, whatever their colour, get the best possible education.