§ Dr. Glyn
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment he has made of the extent to which the availability of religious education teachers in secondary schools is consistent with the statutory obligations regarding the inclusion of religious education in the school curriculum as laid down in the Education Act; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
The Government look to local education authorities and schools to ensure that religious instruction is provided in schools in accordance with the statutory requirements. My right hon. Friend has sought to ensure, through the planning of intakes to initial teacher training, that there is an adequate supply of suitably trained teachers to meet the staffing requirements of schools in respect of religious education, and has no evidence to suggest that demand is not being met. Local authorities have nevertheless been encouraged to keep under review the match between the qualifications and deployment of teachers already in the schools, so that provision may be made at an appropriate standard.