BHA supports All Party Parliamentary Group aiming to improve Religious Education

The BHA has welcomed the launch of a new All Party Parliamentary Group that will support education about religious and non-religious beliefs in English and Welsh schools.

The group will aim to ensure ‘every young person experiences a personally inspiring and academically rigorous education in religious and non-religious worldviews.’

The BHA is a member of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales, which is supporting the new parliamentary group.

Andrew Copson, BHA Chief Executive said, ‘One of the greatest preventatives of indoctrination is a broad syllabus of learning about all the different religious and non-religious beliefs that exist in today’s world. For this reason, as well as the opportunity it gives to consider philosophical and fundamental questions, the BHA has long supported teaching about religious and non-religious beliefs in all schools. Much teaching of RE is still done by unqualified non-specialists in accordance with syllabuses that are far from ideal. We hope that this new parliamentary group will help to bring RE in all schools up to the level of the very best, where it is taught by qualified teachers and embraces a full range of human beliefs, including humanist ones, in a way that encourages critical engagement with those beliefs.

Under the Education Reform Act 1988, RE is not part of the National Curriculum, but is determined at local authority level for schools under their control. The local syllabuses produced are variable in their scope and quality. The BHA campaigns for reform of RE that ensures the subject is taught with inclusiveness, impartiality, objectivity, fairness, balance and relevance.