HC Deb 22 February 1983 vol 37 cc794-5
15. Mr. Peter Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to receive a further report from the Swann committee on the education of ethnic minority children.

Sir Keith Joseph

The committee expects to submit its final report later this year.

Mr. Lloyd

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the objective must be to enable the children of racial minorities to get the same benefit from school as the rest of British children? Does he agree that care must be taken not to put them into a special category, which cuts them off from the majority?

Sir Keith Joseph

I agree wholeheartedly with both of my hon. Friend's propositions.

Mr. Jim Marshall

While the Secretary of State is waiting for that further report, may I ask what advice he will give to headmasters whose schools have a majority of non-Christian children, about carrying out their legal obligations to provide religious instruction as outlined by the Education Act 1944?

Sir Keith Joseph

Decisions about advice to schools are for local education authorities.

Mr. Alexander W. Lyon

With regard to the division in the committee as to whether discrimination or disadvantage is the cause of non-achievement among West Indians, does the Secretary of State agree that it would help if he told the committee that it ought to address its mind to both subjects, as both are relevant to underachievement?

Sir Keith Joseph

I fear that I did not hear the first word of the hon. Gentleman's question. I shall draw the attention of Lord Swann to the hon. Gentleman's question so that he can see what he has said.