Education Secretary backs Board of Deputies over religious education report concerns

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has decided that the Government will not be implementing all the recommendations of the September 2018 Commission on Religious Education (CoRE) Report ‘Religion and Worldviews: The Way Forward’.

He revealed the decision In a letter sent last week to the CoRE. The Board of Deputies had previously raised concerns about the report citing concerns about a dilution of the rigour of religious education to include an unspecified number of ‘worldviews’.

At last night’s debate in the House of Lords on the CoRE Report tabled by Lord Alderdice, a Board of Deputies briefing on the report was mentioned by leading peers including Lord Alton, Labour’s education spokesperson Lord Watson and Lord Agnew, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System.

Summing up, Lord Agnew cited stakeholder concerns, including the Board of Deputies’ and those of the Catholic Education Service, and reaffirmed the Government’s position that they will not be implementing the recommendations of the Commission at this time.

Board of Deputies Vice President Edwin Shuker said: “We are grateful to the Education Secretary and the Department for Education for taking in to account our concerns, as well of those of the Catholic Church and others in the faith communities in his response to the Commission on Religious Education. We were particularly concerned about some of the proposals diluting the study of religion and compromising on academic rigour. We look forward to working with the Department for Education, the Religious Education Council and the different faith communities to come up with proposals that are more workable and can enjoy wider support.”

The Board of Deputies’ original statement can be found here:

The Secretary of State’s letter to the REC can be read here:

The transcript for the House of Lords debate on the Report on the 17th December can be found here:

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