§ Sir Hugh Rossi
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has now received any correspondence on behalf of the Churches jointly following his letter of 30 September to the Roman Catholic bishop of Portsmouth in which he stated that there can be no commitment to any particular share of the public sector initial teacher training suitable for the colleges intake supported by any particular denomination; and what reply he has sent.
§ Mr. Brooke
My right hon. Friend has received a letter dated 18 November from the chairman of the central joint education policy committee of the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Free Churches, commenting on his letters of 30 September to the Bishops of Salford and Portsmouth. In his reply of 14 December my right hon. Friend accepted that the denominational colleges had historically had a significant share in the public sector teacher training system and that decisions about their future contribution should taken account of this but explained that it was not open to him, any more than it had been possible for his predecessors, to offer overriding and immutable commitments for the future. His reply reaffirmed the Government's support for voluntary schools.