BHA: Religious Education is important – but it must be relevant and comprehensive

Good quality 'Religious Education' (RE) in schools is seen as important and valued by the public, research commissioned by the Religious Education Council (REC) has indicated. The research has been welcomed by the British Humanist Association (BHA), which restated the importance of all major beliefs – both religious and non-religious—being objectively explored.

According to the research, 53% of adults in England and Wales think that RE should remain a compulsory subject in state funded schools. A greater number (58%) think it is beneficial for pupils to study RE. The research also indicates that there is more support for both keeping RE as a compulsory subject and of the general merit in teaching RE among 18-24 year olds.

The BHA is a member of the REC of England and Wales, which brings together over fifty professional organisations and religion and belief groups with an interest in promoting good quality RE that explores a range of beliefs and values. Earlier this year the BHA welcomed the launch of the new All Party Parliamentary Group on RE, which is being supported by the REC.

Commenting on the research, BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal said:

‘We are glad the majority of adults in England and Wales recognise the importance of RE, but we believe RE would have even greater support if the deficiencies in its provision were addressed.

We campaign for a fully rounded, relevant curriculum that explores the many varied ethical and religious perspectives to promote understanding and to assist in the personal development of each student, and we look forward to doing so with the new All Party Parliamentary Group on RE.'


For further comment or information contact Andrew Copson, Chief Executive at or on 07855 380 633 or Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs at or on 0773 843 5059.

Read more about the BHA’s work on Religious Education:

The Religious Education Council of England and Wales:

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of ethically concerned, non-religious people in the UK. It is the largest organisation in the UK campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief, and for a secular state.