HC Deb 15 April 1937 vol 322 c1173
53. Mr. Thurtle

asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been drawn to the scheme of the Blackpool education committee which involves the giving of religious instruction of a denominational character to children of public elementary schools which are undenominational in character; whether he has received any protests from teachers' organisations regarding this scheme; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?

The President of the Board of Education (Mr. Oliver Stanley)

My attention has been drawn to the situation which has arisen at Blackpool. I have received no protests from teachers' organisations on the matter, and I do not think that occasion has arisen for any action on my part.

Mr. Thurtle

Will the right hon. Gentleman take care that no improper coercion is employed upon teachers to compel them to escort these children to the various churches, and has his Department satisfied itself that this scheme does not contravene the law governing the nature of religious instruction to be given at non-sectarian schools?

Mr. Stanley

The matter has not been officially brought to my notice by either side, but certainly I will see that no improper action is taken.

Mr. Rostron Duckworth

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a meeting has already been arranged between the Blackpool local education authority and the National Union of Teachers with a view to bringing about a friendly solution of this matter?

Mr. Stanley

Yes. I was aware of that, and it seems to me an admirable and a sensible thing to do.