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RE and Collective worship

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

RE and Collective worship

#1 Postby Alan H » June 15th, 2015, 5:38 pm

From the BHA today: Former Education Secretary calls for new settlement on religion and state schools in England and Wales
In a report, published today by Westminster Faith Debates, former Secretary of State for Education Charles Clarke and Linda Woodhead, Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Lancaster University, have called for radical reform of the current place of religion in the state education system in England and Wales. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed their call for an end to compulsory worship and for a new national curriculum for education about religious and non-religious beliefs but questioned the report’s conclusions on faith schools.

Arguing that the current relationship between religion and schools, originally set out in the 1944 Education Act, is now badly out of date, the pamphlet sets out a series of recommendations aimed at improving the system. Encouragingly, a large number of the report’s recommendations have long been advocated by the BHA. These include:

· Replacing the current system of locally agreed RE syllabuses with one national curriculum, determined by the Secretary of State for Education in collaboration with representatives of both religious and non-religious organisations

· Considering the introduction of legislation that would require all schools, regardless of their religious status, to adopt the nationally-agreed syllabus

· Retaining the current system of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (SACREs), giving them a new role in overseeing local RE provision, ensuring quality and promoting RE as a means of achieving community cohesion

· Considering the use of the phrase ‘Religious and Moral Education’ rather than ‘Religious Education’, as is the case in Scotland

· Abolishing the requirement for all schools to hold a daily act of collective worship, with the government providing guidance to schools on practical alternatives for use of the time

· Considering the removal of ‘faith’ schools’ ability to have their own inspection process for the content of collective worship and denominational education

· Strengthening the inspection regime to ensure that all schools, faith or otherwise, contribute to the promotion of community cohesion.

Additionally, the report documents a number of problems with the current system of allowing ‘faith’ schools to religiously discriminate in their admissions criteria, and also alludes to the socio-economic discrimination that it often causes. Despite this, however, the report recommends that ‘faith’ schools be allowed to continue discriminating in this way, as well as expressing support for the ability of ‘faith’ schools to religiously-discriminate in the employment of staff. These recommendations are at odds not only with the weight of academic research in this area, but also the vast majority of public opinion, as evidenced by a number of recent polls.

Commenting on the report, BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said: ‘It is over seventy years since the place of religious and non-religious worldviews in our state education system was last given any systematic legislative attention. In those seven decades, the demography of England and Wales has changed beyond recognition and yet the education system is fossilised, failing to make its full contribution to developing the inner life of our young people in line with their beliefs and values and to equipping them for life in today’s actual society. Every area of our education system that intersects with questions of religion or belief needs urgent review and that is what this pamphlet does systematically and with acuity. No one will agree with all of it, but it is an informed and valuable contribution to what should be one of the biggest education debates of our time’.

BHA Education Campaigner Jay Harman added: ‘An official review of the place of religion in our state school system is long overdue and today’s report is right to highlight the urgent need for this to be rectified. The calls for both a nationally-agreed syllabus on beliefs and religions and an end to compulsory worship are in tune with longstanding public opinion.

‘That said, it is disappointing to see continued support for faith-based discrimination in school admissions and employment, especially given the very public calls from within religious communities for these practices to end. No doubt the report’s publication will provoke intense debate within the education sector over the coming months and weeks, and we look forward to contributing to that.’


And the response from the good old CofE: Statement on RE and collective worship
15 June 2015
"The Church of England continues to be committed to the provision of high quality RE in schools which is vital for a balanced understanding of the world today where more than 80% of the population are people of faith. The Church strongly supports the statutory requirement for collective worship in all schools and there is plenty of flexibility in the provision to enable all pupils to benefit without compromising their faith or lack of it. Where there are real objections it is a parent's right to withdraw their child from worship, and the very few who take up that right demonstrates that schools have found exciting and creative ways of using collective worship to further children's spiritual and moral development. There is no expectation of commitment and the exposure to the range of religious traditions encourages community cohesion."

Revd Nigel Genders, Church of England Chief Education Officer
I strongly suspect they see no irony in their last sentence.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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jaywhat
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Re: RE and Collective worship

#2 Postby jaywhat » June 15th, 2015, 6:12 pm

worth a try !

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Alan H
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Re: RE and Collective worship

#3 Postby Alan H » June 15th, 2015, 6:48 pm

The Guardian view on religious education in schools: don’t trash it, transform it
Religious education is now an appendix to the school curriculum: a survival from earlier times which seems to have lost whatever use it once had, but which sometimes bursts out in painful and dangerous infections. The present legal settlement dates from 1944, and a time when it seemed self-evident, or at least very plausible, that Britain was a Christian nation. Parliament certainly could not then have imagined that the time was coming when there would be ten times as many Muslims as Methodists in Yorkshire. But even then the churches, which had built so much of the educational system, felt their position was under threat and fought to secure it. Hence the requirement for a daily act of worship of a mainly Christian character, which is the most often flouted aspect of the present settlement.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: RE and Collective worship

#4 Postby Alan H » June 17th, 2015, 5:38 pm

I've not read the report yet (it's in the reading pile!), but this is worrying: Faith Schools: Education's Sacred Cow
Given the conflict that plagues societies in which religion, sectarianism and segregation permeate every facet of life, it seems short-sighted and reckless to suggest that children's education should be organised around religious identities.

But that's exactly the recommendation of a new report calling for a new settlement on religion and belief in schools.

The policy proposal, published by former education secretary Charles Clarke and sociologist Linda Woodhead, recommends that "children of families of faith should where possible be able to attend schools of that faith, and that their current right to be given priority in the admissions process should not be removed."

There is an important debate to be had about the role of religion in schools, and this report makes an important contribution to that debate, but given Britain's rapidly changing demographics, this particular proposal strikes me as a dangerous recipe for yet more religiously segregated schooling and greater religious discrimination: the very features of our education system we should be distancing ourselves from - not endorsing.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: RE and Collective worship

#5 Postby Alan H » June 20th, 2015, 2:06 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Fia
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Re: RE and Collective worship

#6 Postby Fia » June 21st, 2015, 3:10 pm

Good for the pupils :smile:

Loved the name of the Courier columnist and Belhaven Parish Church minister who was quoted:
Spoiler:
The Rev Laurence Twaddle

:hilarity:

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Nick
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Re: RE and Collective worship

#7 Postby Nick » June 21st, 2015, 5:06 pm

:laughter: Made in heaven!

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Alan H
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Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: RE and Collective worship

#8 Postby Alan H » August 3rd, 2015, 6:51 pm

Welsh Government wishes to replace ‘Religious Education’ subject in schools with ‘Religion, Philosophy and Ethics’
Taking questions in the Senedd, the Welsh Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis, has announced that he wants to see a transformation of the way in which Religious Education is taught in Wales. Under the new proposals, and in a significant break from the current system, the subject would be renamed and incorporated into a new ‘Religion, Philosophy and Ethics’ syllabus. The British Humanist Association (BHA), who called for a broadening of the subject in its response to the Welsh curriculum review last year, has welcomed the announcement and looks forward to seeing further details as they are released.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: RE and Collective worship

#9 Postby Dave B » August 3rd, 2015, 7:33 pm

Might be talking to local "academy" about how they present Humanism. From what the Head said sounds as though it is lumped into "seculsr" along with atheism. "Understanding Islam" and the Buddhist perspective are actual sub-subjects.

The Head offered the RE lead's name and suggested that I ask him, will take him up on the offer nearer term time.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: RE and Collective worship

#10 Postby Alan H » June 9th, 2016, 11:24 pm

Making children attend Christian school assemblies undermines human rights, United Nations warns
Britain must stop forcing children to attend Christian school assemblies because it undermines their human rights, a United Nations committee has said in a controversial new report.

The authors called on ministers to repeal a law demanding a daily act of Christian worship at schools because it may contradict a child’s “freedom of thought, conscience and religion”.

The report was produced by an 18-person group of “independent experts” of "high moral character" including representatives from Bahrain, Russia and Egypt.

Critics dubbed the demand “ludicrous” and said the government should responded by “respectfully” putting the report “in the bin”.

It was just one of 150 recommendations about where Britain could be contravening the UN Charter on the Rights of the Child.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
Posts: 22958
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: RE and Collective worship

#11 Postby Alan H » September 27th, 2017, 12:49 am

By Andrew Copson: Education About Religions Is Broken, But It Can Be Fixed
Education about religions in English schools is broken, and it is too important a subject not to fix. That is the reality that drives the work of the Commission on Religious Education, which published its first major report last week.

The evidence is plain to see. Earlier this week it was revealed that thousands of schools in England are not teaching any RE at all, with nearly half of academies neglecting it at Key Stage Four. Last month the latest official figures exposed the fact that the number of pupils in England and Wales taking the full course Religious Studies GCSE fell by 4.6% against 2016 while those taking the short course GCSE in Religious Studies fell even more sharply, down 24.6%. In 2010 RE was left off the English Baccalaureate and has been absent ever since, in 2011 the Coalition excluded RE from their national curriculum review, and Ofsted has not commented meaningfully on the state of RE in English schools since its 2013 report found that six in 10 schools were ‘not realising the subject’s potential’.

As I say, Religious Education is broken. So how to fix it?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?


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