Religious education is being squeezed off the timetable

Feb 8, 2016 by

From The Economist: LAST year in one large London school, all 200 pupils taking their GCSE exams—standard tests sat at age 16—were entered for a qualification in religious education (RE), and emerged with results as good as in the other humanities. Yet, according to a teacher there, the school has just announced that its GCSE course in RE will be scrapped and replaced with a one-hour class every fortnight. More schools are smiting their RE lessons. Nearly 1,200 put forward no pupil for an RE...

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Battle joined over place of faith in education

Feb 2, 2016 by

By Caroline Wyatt, BBC News: Few topics are as fought over or hotly debated in England as education, not least in a week that saw the UK’s pupils score badly in literacy and numeracy compared with their international peers. Throw religion and faith schools (both public and private) into the mix, a chief inspector of schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, whose own personal faith is at the heart of what he does, and a prominent Christian as Education Secretary, in the form of Nicky Morgan, and...

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Faith schools can bring our divided communities together

Jan 26, 2016 by

By Nick Timothy, Conservative Home: “I like the idea of more autonomy for schools,” people often tell me, “but I do have a problem with faith schools.”  After a short pause, they usually go on to say, “well, I don’t really mean faith schools, I mean Muslim schools.” It’s not difficult to see, given the dangers we face from extremism and radicalisation, why people jump to this conclusion. In the last couple of weeks alone, we have seen a six-year old English child in Luton posing as a jihadist...

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Faith school places objections to be limited to local parents

Jan 26, 2016 by

By Sean Coughlan, BBC News: Secularist campaign groups are to be stopped from making “vexatious complaints” against the admissions systems of individual faith schools. The government says only local parents will be able to pursue objections against how popular, oversubscribed schools prioritise applications. The schools admissions watchdog has said public money was being wasted by multiple objections by pressure groups. The education secretary says it will be “easier for...

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Are our Sunday schools to fall victim to the panic over Islamic extremism?

Jan 24, 2016 by

By Mark Ellse, The Conservative Woman: […]  On another flagship policy, does David Cameron really believe in the Big Society: empowering communities, redistributing power and fostering a culture of volunteerism? Does he want a society in which individuals and communities are encouraged to work for the common good, or does he want to prevent this by tying us all up in red tape? Of late we have had proposals to produce a registration and inspection regime for, among other activities,...

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MPs unite to condemn OFSTED regulation of Sunday Schools

Jan 22, 2016 by

By Gillan Scott, via Archbishop Cranmer: Anyone with even a modicum of understanding will know that not all religions in all of their forms are equally benign. That’s where the whole ‘British Values’ drive has come from. Some aspects of Islamic religion and culture sit uneasily within the way British society has traditionally functioned, and with the rise of Wahhabi-inspired extremism the problem has got a whole lot worse. The problem for a government which is keen to ensure that the values of...

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