Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer for the Church of England has recently blogged on What is religious education for?. He starts with:
It is tempting to see the primary reasons for good religious education as being combatting extremism and promoting community cohesion. This feeds nicely in to national political and news agendas but by doing this we confuse safeguarding with education, distort the need for a healthy pluralism in society and accept a simplistic narrative that says religion is the cause of most of the world’s problems. The primary purpose of religious education must in fact be to enable young people to make sense of themselves and the world in which they live and from these seeds will grow communities equipped to live well together.
It’s really worth taking a few minutes to read his take on the need for good quality religious education.