School and government performance on religious education failing record number of students, says landmark data review
Neglecting RE leaves ‘gaping hole in the school curriculum’, says Father of the House Sir…
A report published today warns that Religious Education is already being marginalised as a consequence of being left out of the 2010 English Baccalaureate and is set to disappear altogether from the curriculum of many secondary schools. Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove is expected to make an announcement on RE’s inclusion in the EBacc by July 19.
RE has been a core subject for all pupils since 1870, but this could soon end. Michael Gove’s rapidly implemented plans to shake up the educational system are set to shake out RE. This may not be deliberate but is the inevitable unintended consequence of government actions.
Being left out of the 2010 EBacc is already having devastating consequences in schools. A survey by the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) based on evidence from over half of all state maintained secondary schools in England reports:
Ed Pawson, Chair of NATRE, said,
“GCSE Religious Studies is a subject that requires high standards of knowledge and evaluation of evidence. It explores religious and cultural topics and engages in debates over issues of diversity and conflict, ethics, philosophy and social change. It has grown massively in popularity over recent years because students recognise it as a subject of significant relevance to the world they encounter. By excluding RS from the EBacc Michael Gove is effectively squeezing it out of the curriculum in many of our schools across the country. This truly is a cruel blow.”
In the light of new hard evidence about the negative effects of RE having been excluded from the 2010 EBacc, The Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) and NATRE, along with the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, calls for:
RE’s exclusion from the EBacc has already caused an avalanche of protest including:
Other evidence on the effects of the EBacc excluding RE on schools, students and teachers:
Colin Hallmark / Harriet Johnson, 3:nine Communications
Tel: 0207 736 1888; 07745 914170; email: email@example.com
1. The NATRE research was carried out over a 10 day period in May 2011. Responses from 1,918 schools were gathered. Excluding the independent school responses, this represents over half (53%) of all maintained secondary schools in England. The analysis focuses on the 1,157 sub-set of academies, community schools and grammar schools.
2. NATRE is the subject teacher association for RE professionals in primary and secondary schools and higher education, providing a focal point for their concerns, a representative voice at national level and publications and courses to promote professional development.
3. Established in 1973, the Religious Education Council of England and Wales brings together some fifty national organisations. These comprise academic and professional associations specialising in religions and religious education, as well as the individual religion and belief organisations inclusive of the range of faith communities found nationally. The REC’s shared priority is to strengthen the quality of provision for the subject throughout the educational system.