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SUPPORT FOR RE FROM THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE Print E-mail

To whom it may concern,

I am co-chair of the Council of Europe's committee concerned witht he dissemination of the Council of Europe's Recommendation on teaching about religions and beliefs, issued by the Committee of Ministers (the Foreign Ministers of all 47 member states including the UK) in December 2008. 

Having excluded the study of religions from its remit until 2002, the Council of Europe now regards education about religions and beliefs as making an essential contribution to school education across Europe, especially contributing to values education and education for itnercultural understanding. Why is the subject not receiving equivalent attention in the UK?

While many European staets are now giving close attention to teacher training and resourcing this field, the UK government is neglecting it through concentrating on other areas of the curriculum and through eroding support for teacher training and in service training of teachers. At this time it seems particularly ironic that European educators are inspired by research in this field carried out in recent years in the UK, while the subject itself in England is in decline through lack of specialist staff, teacher training resources, specialist advice and declining status. Please give the subject the attention it deserves before it is too late.

Robert Jackson

Professor Robert Jackson PhD, DLitt, AcSS
Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit (WRERU)
Institute of Education
University of Warwick, UK.

Professor of Religious Diversity and Education,
European Wergeland Centre,
Oslo, Norway. 

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