The Final Report of the Commission on Religious Education, Religion and Worldviews: the way forward. A national plan for RE, has been published. It sets out a National Plan for RE comprising of 11 recommendations, and calls on the Government to consider and adopt it.
The National Plan is built around a National Entitlement which sets out what all pupils up to the end of Year 11, in all publicly funded schools, should be entitled to be taught. The National Entitlement reflects a new and inclusive vision for the subject, fully embracing the diversity and richness of religious and non-religious worldviews. It will ensure a strong academic basis for the subject in all schools. The National Plan provides for flexibility of approach in the translation of the National Entitlement into programmes of study in schools, ensuring that Headteachers are able to choose the approach that is most appropriate for their pupils.
“This report calls for a new vision for Religious Education (RE) which is vital if we are to equip children for life in the modern world where religion and belief play such important roles. It is also timely given the falling numbers of students taking RE at GCSE and A level following the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc).
“The report articulates well the need to recruit and train RE teachers who are resourced and supported effectively. It also makes significant recommendations for structural change in the way RE is determined. Today, most people’s experience of religion and belief is national and global, so we support the move away from a local determination of the subject. We believe this will help pupils make sense of religion and belief as it is lived today and this proposed change is educationally valid and would bring RE into line with all other curriculum subjects.
“We fully support the policy of developing a Statement of Entitlement to RE and are pleased to see the Commission endorsing an approach which we already use in Church of England schools. However, the Commission’s proposed Statement of Entitlement requires further work if it is to ensure that children and young people develop religious and theological literacy as part of their knowledge and understanding. We look forward to playing our part in working with the education community to achieve this and building an irresistible consensus of agreement about the subject.
Other media reports include:
- The BBC: ‘Teach religion and worldviews instead of RE’
- The Sunday Times: Report calls for less religion in RE classes
- The Sunday Telegraph: Religious Education should be re-branded as ‘Religion and Worldviews’ to ensure survival, report says
- The Independent: RE in schools should be changed to ‘religion and worldviews’, report suggests
- The Mail on Sunday: Major shake-up proposed for religious education
- The Sunday Express: Atheism lessons in RE shake-up
- Christian Today: RE should be changed to include non-religious beliefs and worldviews, says new report
- The TES: Call to change RE to ‘religion and world views’