§ 14. Mr. Terlezki
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what information he has as to the extent of the teaching of peace studies in Wales and as to the local education authorities involved; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
I am not aware of any Welsh local education authority promoting peace studies as a distinct item in the curriculum.
§ Mr. Terlezki
I am most grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer. However, should peace studies be introduced in our schools, would he provide the finances for that subject?
§ Mr. Roberts
The financing of education is a matter for local education authorities. However, I would feel obliged to stress that any attempt to smuggle in politically biased teaching would breach the requirements of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986. Local education authorities, governing bodies and head teachers are required by that Act to forbid the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school.
§ Mr. Wigley
Does the Minister accept that implicit in this question is the suggestion that there should be greater centralisation of curricula — something that is causing considerable concern in Wales — and will he give an undertaking that if the responsibility for financing these or any other studies in schools is a matter for local authorities, curricula should remain a matter for local decision?
§ Mr. Roberts
I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman. There has been considerable discussion of the curriculum, and the general opinion among teachers, parents and all concerned with the education of children is that there should be more central direction of the curriculum than there is now.