Commenting on the Department’s MORI survey of 618 state-maintained secondary schools to assess the effects of the EBacc, John Keast, chair of the RE Council said:
“The EBacc has sent a clear message to schools – effectively increase the numbers of students taking subjects including History, Geography, languages and science. However, these figures also show that RE is an academically rigorous and popular subject that will serve pupils well in the future. Respondents to the study indicate it should not have been excluded from the EBacc.”
Depth interviews with schools and young people as part of the study show RE to be an academically rigorous subject in its own right. Amongst young people, it continues to be a popular subject and many teachers and schools believe that it should not have been excluded from the EBacc.
It is also encouraging that Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT has also seen fit to comment:
“It is no surprise that when schools are put in a position where their future is based on certain subjects, the result is an increased uptake. Our (NAHT) fear is that the focus on a limited range of subjects will be to the detriment of disciplines like music and religious studies, which are no less rigorous but which could see provision reduced as schools focus on the EBacc combination.”