Wed 20th Sep 2017

Review of RE a positive step towards safeguarding the subject

The first report by the Commission on RE (CoRE) has been welcomed by the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) as a positive step towards safeguarding the future of the subject.

The CoRE’s interim report “Religious Education for All” sets out bold recommendations to protect RE’s role as a vital component of a balanced curriculum. It makes a substantial contribution towards improving the legal, education, and policy frameworks that govern RE, and the way schools deliver the subject.

The REC shares the Commission’s concerns over the number of state secondary schools struggling to meet their legal requirement to deliver RE, as revealed by the State of the Nation report, published by the REC and the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) on September 18. The REC and NATRE are calling for the Government to make a clear public statement that it is not acceptable for a school to provide no RE and to review how provision is benchmarked.

Like the Commission, the REC is also keen to ensure the quality of provision of RE. While there are many excellent examples of RE teaching, action is required to ensure that all pupils receive fair and equal access to good quality RE delivered by specialist RE teachers.

Chief Executive of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC), Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, commented:

“Over the past decade we have seen an enormous growth in popularity of religious education among young people, who recognise the value it plays in preparing them for life in modern Britain.

“However, the unintended consequences of Government policy and the changes to the structure of our school system mean that a comprehensive review of the status of RE is needed.

“We look forward to the consultation on the interim report starting in October and would encourage anyone with an interest in the future shape of RE to contribute. We also eagerly anticipate the publication of the final report next year.”

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Notes to editors

Religious Education Council of England and Wales

Established in 1973, the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) brings together over 60 national organisations. These comprise academic and professional associations specialising in religions and religious education, as well as individual religions and belief organisations inclusive of the range of faith communities found nationally, including Humanists UK.