SIR KEITH JOSEPH.. the Education Minister, had already decided to axe teacher training at De La Salle College, Manchester, when he promised the Catholic bishops a "full and fundamental" review of the situation, Bishop Daniel Mullins, the bishop responsible for higher education, has claimed.
Sir Keith promised the review after his decision in August 1982 to terminate initial teacher training at the college ran into heavy criticism. But the result of the review, in October 1983, was that he upheld his original decision.
Bishop Mullins, in a letter to the Minister dated January 4, said Sir Keith's October 1983 decision was pre-determined.
He based this claim on the fact that the reasons Sir Keith gave in October 1983 were the same as those given in December 1982.
The bishop said: "We (the Catholic bishops) had been promised a full and fundamental review. Such a review would need to go back to the situation as it was in the summer of 1982."
Bishop Mullins went on in his letter to make a strong attack on the process by which Sir Keith reached his original decision. and the way in which he undermined the "historic share" concept-designed to protect religious establishments.
"Our complaint. and it is a serious one. is that this concept was abandoned by you without any consultation whatsoever. Such
action cannot represent democratic justice.
"It is claiming that the Government can make its decisions without reference to the genuine concerns of the governed. On that basis, you could withdraw support from any or all of our colleges and do, as was done in August 1982, simply inform us of your decision. To invite comment afterwards is not much help since you have unilaterally changed the basis of the relationship between the Church and the State. "