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Government Independent Faith Engagement Review

Call for evidence closes 11th December 2020

Colin Bloom was appointed as the Faith Engagement Adviser at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in October. He is leading a review into how best the government should engage with faith groups in England.

Colin Bloom
Colin Bloom – Photo credit Twitter

Colin has launched an open consultation to collect views that will underpin a Faith Engagement Review. As part of his review he will make recommendations to the Communities Secretary.

According to the MHCLG “The call for evidence will pose a series of questions around how those of all faiths, or none, perceive the government’s engagement with faith organisations.”


Colin is particularly interested in hearing from:

  1. Members of the public who identify as having a religion, or people who have a faith.
  2. Faith and Religious leaders (voluntary or professional) in places of worship or faith-based organisations and charities.
  3. Public servants such as Civil Servants, teachers, the police and healthcare workers.
  4. Anyone who is or has been engaged with the British Military in any capacity.
  5. Anyone who is or has been engaged in the Criminal Justice System in any capacity.

There is a specific question in the consultation about Religious Education:

Q41: Do you believe that Religious and Belief Education (often referred to as “RE”) is comprehensive enough within the English education curriculum to provide a good understanding of different faiths and beliefs?

Yes / No / Prefer not to say

Q42: Please expand

If we want the government to address the issues affecting Religious Education that are comprehensively set out and evidenced by the report from the Commission on RE, I think we need as many individuals as possible to respond to this survey explaining:

  • the potential of RE– especially in relation to this specific question of providing “a good understanding of different faiths and beliefs”
  • the impact of government policy on the abilities of teachers to deliver the best RE to all pupils in all schools (in a context where DfE data shows 41% of all schools report providing no time for RE in Year 11)*

(c) What you believe needs to be done to re-establish Religious Education in the curriculum

If you or your colleagues would like to read more about this consultation the link to the government’s page is:

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/independent-faith-engagement-review-call-for-evidence

And a direct link to the consultation questionnaire is:

 https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=EGg0v32c3kOociSi7zmVqLAvxFsmpeJAuen06HIiI0VUNk0zOUg1TUdBSzk0NE8wWlVWTEZEMUZCUS4u

 The consultation closes on 11th December.

You do not need to answer every question in the survey.

Deborah Weston OBE

REC Trustee and Company Secretary

*School workforce data published by the DfE in July 2020

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