‘Flawed’ proposals for RE in schools attacked
THE BOARD of Deputies has criticised “fundamentally flawed” proposals to shake up religious education in schools which would require faith schools to teach about humanism, secularism and other religions.
According to the independent Commission on Religious Education, RE should be transformed into a subject called Religion and Worldviews in order to equip pupils to better understand the diversity of modern Britain.
The commission, established by the Religious Education Council of England and Wales, says as well as different religious traditions, pupils should learn about “non-religious worldviews and concepts including humanism, secularism, atheism and agnosticism”.
It argues that this should apply to all publicly funded schools, including academies and voluntary-aided religious schools.
Board vice-president Edwin Shuker said that while he welcomed the timely focus on RE and the call for extra teacher training, the report was “fundamentally undermined by the dilution of religious education through the inclusion of all world views in an already tight teaching timetable.
“This might be seen as an attempt by those hostile to faith to push their agenda of undermining rigour in religious education at a time when faith literacy could not be more important.”
One of the commissioners was Dame Helen Hyde, a vice-president of the Jewish Leadership Council.
The Board and the Jewish Museum submitted evidence to the commission, which published its report, Religion and Worldviews: the Way Forward, on Sunday.
Report is undermined by dilution of religious education’