Commission proposes new subject of religion and worldviews to replace outdated RE

Religious education should be adapted to reflect social changes so that the subject better prepares young people for “living in an increasingly diverse world”.
The subject’s name should also be changed to “religion and worldviews”.

The recommendations have been made by the Commission of Religious Education, which published its final report on Sunday (September 9) making 10 recommendations for reforming RE.

Its key recommendation is the creation of a National Entitlement for all pupils in all schools specifying nine “broad entitlements” for what they should be taught, including the concepts of “religion” and “worldviews” and the roles of religious and non-religious worldviews.

Programmes of study would draw on the major world religions as well as non-religious views such as Humanism, secularism, atheism and agnosticism.

Changes to the legislation governing Standing Advisory Councils on RE (SACREs), which currently support RE locally, are also proposed. The report suggests the creation of Local Advisory Networks on Religion and Worldviews with an enhanced role, which would include supporting the implementation of the National Entitlement.

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