Letter: in defense of Religious Education

Dear ICN

Thank you very much for publishing the article highlighting the Religious Education Council's research on the popularity of Religious Education (RE) amongst young people in the UK (New study shows RE is 'a valued subject'- Wednesday 15th December 2010). www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=17322

As the leading Christian media voice in the UK, we too were very concerned that RE was left off the list of proposed humanities in the English Baccalaureate.

Although all schools will be obliged to teach RE in some form, if it does not become a priority subject in the new English Baccalaureate, schools will not be inclined to put their resources into the subject as it will now not be one of the subjects upon which schools will be judged within the schools league table.

We don't think it is right young people will either be denied or penalised for wanting to explore other faiths, in depth, at GCSE. But even more so, why the subject would be left off the list of humanities, despite the fact that take up of RE at GCSE level has increased more than four times over the past 15 years.

And with the UK becoming increasingly multicultural and diverse, it is essential young people are provided with quality religious education now more than ever - enabling them to better understand the world in which they live and ultimately, creating a culture of tolerance and understanding.

RE has always been at the heart of our national curriculum- in fact our education system was built upon a Christian heritage, therefore it is important RE remains a priority subject taught within our schools and colleges.

We believe it is important that the Church unites on this issue to collectively put pressure on the Department for Education to ensure they re-think this decision.

Peter Kerridge

Chief Executive

Premier Christian Media Group

Tags: Baccalaureate, RE, religious education

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