‘Flawed’ pro­pos­als for RE in schools at­tacked

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

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’

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