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Home arrow News arrow Latest News arrow Latest News arrow Concern in light of exam numbers
Concern in light of exam numbers Print E-mail

RE Council expresses its concern in light of exam numbers

Religious Education is vital to a healthy society RE experts argued this week as GCSE results showed an 8 per cent fall* in numbers taking the short course version of the subject following its exclusion from the EBac, in contrast to a 17 per cent increase* in pupils taking the full course they would have begun before the EBac was introduced.

The drop in numbers is for the course which is the compulsory minimum whilst the rise is for the course that students generally choose.  This means whilst students are more interested than ever before in matters of religion and belief, government policy is set to severely reduce the chances that every student will leave school properly educated in this vital area.




Last week’s RE A-Level results showed a year on year increase in students taking the subject. This, may be directly affected in future by fewer schools offering RE at GCSE, including the short course, and cutting back the resources committed to a subject not included in the EBac. 

RE has been an important part of our education system for many years, says the Council, but we fear that the subject will start to lose its key role due to the latest changes. The popularity of the A-Level course, particularly philosophy and ethics, illustrated in the latest results shows that pupils enjoy the opportunity to think around their subject and have the chance to consider wider issues in our society. Many only go on to study at A-Level due to the enthusiasm they picked up at GCSE level and we fear this will be very different over the next few years. Despite the EBac decision, we hope that the Government will come up with a constructive way forward for the future of RE.

 “Good education includes good religious education.  GCSE in the subject is a basic building block towards becoming not just literate and numerate but also ‘religiate’ and so equipped with an understanding of the religions and beliefs found in our diverse world. The Coalition Government will do well to find means to strengthen RE provision in schools colleges and academies for children and young people of all ages,” says  Professor Brian Gates, Chair of the RE Council.

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