Today marks the beginning of Celebrating RE month with a load of great ideas and resources on the website.
Perhaps coincidentally (?) this comes at a time when RE is under threat through the introduction of the English Baccalaureate. This seeks to encourage a broader approach to qualifications beyond the “Five GCSE’s” target of previous years, by stipulating that the five must include English, maths, a science, a language – modern or ancient – and a humanities subject to qualify for the award of the EBacc. Unfortunately, by implication this devalues a range of subjects that won’t count towards it, including some science and language courses and also RE, which will no longer count as a ‘humanity’ subject for the purposes of the EBacc.
The value of Religious Education is therefore being vigorously debated at the moment, and especially the contribution it makes to understanding different religions and cultures in a modern pluralist society. Religious faith, whether personal or encountered in others, and the existential experience of many people, are a formative part of everyday life. The philosophical and academic skills that RE encourages in young people are different to those encountered in other subjects and are therefore vital to the development of the whole person
In response to the marginalising of RE in the English Baccalaureate, REact is raising the profile of and making the case for RE. Read the case for the role of RE here and sign up to suport the campaign here.