Students who don’t want to take part in lessons with religious groups are accommodated with ‘resources available at the time’.

Education Minister Julie Edge says any deviation from the curriculum is handled by the individual schools.

She was asked in the House of Keys last week what has been done about the teaching by religious groups of transitional programmes and personal, social, health and economic education.

Ms Edge said ‘no significant changes’ had been made.

The curriculum is delegated to head teachers as they are best placed to deliver the curriculum, she said.

Ms Edge added that PSHE may be delivered by outside agencies and these arrangements are made between schools and designed to develop a ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum.

Douglas East MHK Joney Faragher asked if there were alternative programmes for children who didn’t take part in lessons with religious groups.

Schools have a curriculum to deliver and are resourced appropriately to do this,’ Ms Edge said.

‘Any deviation from the curriculum will be handled by the individual schools with the resources available at that time.’

Ms Faragher asked: ‘Many parents don’t want their children to be taught by religious groups.

‘What information is given to parents about who runs the programmes?

‘Is she reassured all schools are stating openly who will run them and are open to providing information on the group running the programmes?’

To this, the minister said the decision on whether to invite groups in is down to schools but she’s ‘happy to look in to’ who is delivering the lessons and ensure parents are informed.

Ms Edge said there were guidelines delivered to all schools on what was appropriate to be taught and that there was the opportunity for parents to request their children weren’t involved in such lessons.