HC Deb 19 June 1984 vol 62 cc127-8
2. Sir John Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received about the collective act of worship in schools; and what changes are contemplated.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Bob Dunn)

My right hon. Friend has received a small number of representations suggesting that changes should be made in the statutory provisions on the collective act of worship in schools. The Government have no plans to propose any changes in those provisions.

Sir John Biggs-Davison

Does my hon. Friend agree that all the propaganda against school worship has come not from the non-Christian denominations but from unbelievers? While respecting all faiths, will the Government resist the adulteration of Christianity and uphold the law, which is being broken in many cases?

Mr. Dunn

My hon. Friend does the House a service by bringing this problem to our attention. We will uphold the provisions of the Education Act 1944, which require a daily act of worship and religious instruction to take place in our schools. I condemn the efforts of those who seek to take religion out of schools.

Mr. Latham

When my hon. Friend meets representatives of the education profession, does he take the opportunity to stress the fact that they have legal duties which are not enforced at present?

Mr. Dunn

On the many occasions when I meet those who represent education, I clearly point out their duty, both legal and moral, to see that religion plays a part in the life of the school. That is my view now, and it will continue to be my view for as long as I am a member of this place.