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News Code: 752


UK Schools Failing in Religious Education

According to a study by the schools watchdog Ofsted, six in ten schools are failing to teach the subject properly as they are not “realizing” its full potential. 

The report, which was based on inspections of 185 schools, also referred to areas of serious concern in the way religious education is taught, including weak teaching, low standards and confusion about the purpose of the subject. 

The report titled “Religious Education: realising the potential” also warned that religious education is being "squeezed out" in schools by other subjects. 

The Church of England called on British Education Secretary Michael Gove to address the problems. 

"The report places the blame for poor standards squarely on government policy. In particular, the removal of support and squeeze on places for training religious education teachers is a scandal and will take years to reverse,” said the Rev Jan Ainsworth, the Church's chief education officer. 

Surrey Head Teacher Gail Larkin, vice-president of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said consecutive governments were responsible for "devaluing" religious education as a subject in schools. 

In February last year, a YouGov poll found that religion seems to play a minor role in British people’s lives as majority of Britons say they do not belong to any particular religion and are not religious. 

In the survey of 1828 adults across the UK, 37 percent of respondents said they are “not very religious” and 39 percent said they are “not very religious at all', making the total of 76 percent who are not religious, compared with just 5 percent who regarded themselves as “very religious”.

Source: ABNA