Accord Coalition calls for National Curriculum RE

June 11, 2012

The Accord Coalition – which links both religious and secular organisations in campaigning for inclusive education – has called upon the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, to place Religious Education (RE) on the National Curriculum in view of the widespread public support for RE in schools, as shown in a new YouGov poll commissioned by the Religious Education Council of England and Wales.

Currently RE is in the anomalous position of being a statutory subject, which must be taught, but it is not on the National Curriculum and so there is no set syllabus for it. This means that RE can differ from one part of the country to another, while most faith schools, such as Voluntary Aided ones, and new faith Academies and Free Schools, can just teach their own faith.

According to Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE, Chair of the Accord Coalition, ‘There is a real danger that children at many schools end up with a monochrome view of society and do not understand those who come from a different religious and cultural background, while those from minority faiths can end up not being in touch with the majority of the population.

‘By all means let certain schools, if they so wish, teach more on one particular faith – but only after their pupils have had a thorough grounding in people all faiths and those of none. Britain today is a multi-faith society – but we don’t want that to become a multi-fractious society.

‘It is vital, therefore, children grow up knowing the facts about other faiths – partly out of general knowledge but also as a pathway to good citizenship so that they understand their Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu neighbours. Putting RE on the National Curriculum will help ensure that the next generation – a very diverse generation – grows up at ease with itself and in harmony’.

2 Responses to Accord Coalition calls for National Curriculum RE

  1. Laurence Mann on June 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    This is a good idea in principle, but bear in mind that approaching 50% of secondary schools have converted or are converting to academy status, and academy schools “enjoy” the freedom of not having to following the National Curriculum, I do wonder if in fact there is much point.

  2. Allan Hayes on June 12, 2012 at 5:04 am

    I suggest that what is needed is a course in Humanity, including religious and non-religious beliefs.

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