Faith schools exploiting loophole to avoid teaching about other religions

December 1, 2017

A recently launched Edexcel International Religious Education GCSE enables schools to only study one religion. This is despite Government moves brought into effect last year to require schools to study two religions at RE GCSE. This was supposed to lead to faith schools teaching about a faith other than that of the school. However, The Jewish Chronicle reports that three faith schools have already switched or are in the process of switching to teach the IGCSE course, with other schools considering doing so.

IGCSEs are qualifications designed to prepare pupils for later study of the International Baccalaureate. The Accord Coalition has now written to the Government, urging it to close this loophole which helps prevents pupils being exposed to ‘religious pluralism’.

Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain said, ‘Some faith schools feel threatened by and so avoid teaching about traditions of people from different backgrounds in society. This is damaging and misguided. It denies pupils important knowledge that can help them integrate and undermines the growth of mutual understanding, which is vital for a cohesive society where diversity and difference is better accepted.’

‘The recent requirement that Religious Education GCSEs should include the study of two religions frustrates schools pursuing a narrow or obscurant agenda. Those schools whose pupils will benefit most from teaching about other faiths will often be those most resistant to it. We urge the Government to ensure this loophole is closed, including by providing all pupils with an entitlement to a broad and balanced education about the range of religious and non-religious beliefs in Britain.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Accord depends on your support

Please give.

Sign up

find us on Facebook

News history