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Comments on National Curriculum Review  from  the Religious Education Council

The terms of reference for Review of the National Curriculum make clear that the Secretary of State is resolute in his pursuit of what he regards as fundamental for educational renewal. Along with member organisations, the REC will participate in the evidence- gathering process and in any other way to help the review take into account the role and place of RE within the wider curriculum.

The RE Council welcomes the reference to the statutory position of RE, and seeks reassurance that the statutory position of RE will be accompanied by actions which guarantee effective implementation in every school, college and academy.

The RE Council draws attention to the current and long-standing statutory requirement that the school curriculum promotes the "spiritual, moral...  and cultural development of pupils and of society" identified in the 1944 and 1988 Education Acts. These forms of development need to be remembered within the new national curriculum as well as the wider curriculum, and it is vital that they are directly addressed in the wording of the Education Bill as it is framed.

The local basis of RE is reaffirmed. Ways therefore need to be found to ensure that the Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education, which individually cover each area of the country, are strengthened rather than diminished.  They are beacons attracting people from across religious, professional and political divides to work together for the well-being of children and of their communities.

Officers of the RE Council remain optimistic that they will be able to contribute positively to the thinking of Michael Gove and Nick Gibb. We will continue to engage in written exchanges and other parliamentary contacts. 

21 January 2011

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/nationalcurriculum  The salient paragraph on RE is: 11. ..it is essential to distinguish between the National Curriculum and the wider school curriculum. There are a number of important components of a broad and balanced school curriculum for which, as is currently the case, it would be inappropriate to prescribe national Programmes of Study. This applies, for example, in the case of religious education (RE), where what is taught needs to reflect local circumstances. Religious education will not, therefore, be considered as part of the review of the National Curriculum. The Government does not intend to make any changes to the statutory basis for religious education.




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