HC Deb 07 March 2000 vol 345 cc576-7W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on his Department's policy respecting the maintenance of political neutrality in discussing the future of the EU in schools. [112341]

Jacqui Smith

Pupils in England are taught about Europe and the European Union at secondary school. From the start of the school year 2000 they will be taught about the history of Britain in its European and wider context within National Curriculum History and from 2002 they will be taught about the world as a global community, the role of the European Union and the UK's relations in Europe, including the European Union in National Curriculum Citizenship.

There are safeguards in law to ensure that where political issues are discussed in school it is in an unbiased and balanced way. Local Education Authorities, governing bodies and head teachers are required under section 407 of the Education Act 1996 to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils, they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.

Forward to