Wednesday, July 13

Religious Education lessons at risk, say faith leaders

Eh? so? what’s the bloody problem, you muppets? Why should we teach religious education in schools in the first place? This is the letter

Losing our religions

SIR – We wish to endorse the campaign to have religious education (RE) included in the English Baccalaureate.

We are gravely concerned about the negative impact current Government policies are having on RE in schools and colleges in our country. The distinctive character of RE in Britain has an international reputation of which we are rightly proud. RE makes an important contribution to strong communities, harmony and mutual respect.

However, changes to the role and capacity of local authorities, coupled with the extension of the academies programme, are in danger of undermining the nature and quality of RE. They are also having a serious impact on the ability of the grassroot councils for RE (Sacres) to undertake their statutory role in sustaining the subject. Also, recent policy initiatives in relation to GCSE examinations are already leading to a deterioration in the provision for RE in many secondary schools.

The Prime Minister must ask the Secretary of State to work with the RE community to develop a clear strategy for the future development of the subject. Failure to work with faith communities, along with their partner academic and professional associations, would represent a serious flaw in the Big Society project.

Michael Heaney
President, Churches Together in England
Martyn Atkins
General Secretary Methodist Church
Roberta Rominger
General Secretary of the United Reformed Church
Jamie Cresswell
Chair, Network of Buddhist Organisations
Bharti Tailor
Secretary General, Hindu Forum of Britain
Harshad Sanghrajka
Director, Institute of Jainology
Farooq Murad
Secretary Gen, Muslim Council of Britain
Indarjit Singh
Director, Network of Sikh Organisations
Malcolm Deboo
President, Zoroastrian Trust Funds for Europe

Truly these religious people should concentrate on making sure that the parents teach religion to their kids. Why has the state suddenly taken on the responsibility to teach religion to the kids? Good for you, Government, tell them to bog off. No need to worry about this.

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