HC Deb 19 November 1985 vol 87 c130
7. Mr. Thurnham

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent representations he has received from the Moslem community about the teaching of religion in schools.

The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Mr. Chris Patten)

My right hon. Friend has received no representations of this sort in the recent past.

Mr. Thurnham

Following the Swann committee's recommendations, what is my hon. Friend doing to help teachers who need additional training in that respect?

Mr. Patten

The Government have decided to extend the in-service training grant scheme to include training and are responding to ethnic diversity. We have taken some measures with regard to initial training, and we are anxious to increase the supply of ethnic minority teachers. We are therefore considering the comments received on the consultation document on that subject which we issued last July.

Mr. Pavitt

Does the Minister read the Daily Jang which is the most widely read Urdu newspaper? Has he read the article about the need for more language laboratories for teachers who are trying to teach Urdu in schools?

Mr. Patten

I am bound to say that I have not read that publication as frequently as I should. I shall, of course, now do so and take on board what the hon. Gentleman has said.