Comments: OFSTED criticises Religious Education in English schools

Surely as Britain faces a multicultural future, this subject needs priority in the battle for understanding and mutal trust. As an RE / history teacher I would agree with this analysis.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Monday, 7 October 2013 at 5:46am BST

The Church of England has a problem if it wants to be influential over curriculum matters.

If a teacher stands at the front of the room and says that women and gays are second-class citizens, and that certain jobs should be reserved for straight men and straight men alone, Ofsted would be all over them like a cheap suit.

But the CofE's official policy is precisely that.

So why should a sexist and homophobic organisation be listened to when it comes to setting educational policy? Why doesn't the CofE fix its own problems first?

Posted by Interested Observer at Monday, 7 October 2013 at 11:30am BST

Interested Observer,
yes, if a teacher stood at the front saying those things it would be wrong.
But the RE curriculum is not about women and gay people.
The first time these topics come up is in Philosophy and Ethics in Year 12, when students who choose them as essay topics are expected to research the position of various Christian denominations and the debate within the church, and where they then write a proper analysis concluding with their own balanced opinion. No-one "stands at the front" indoctrinating them.

That doesn't make the churches' official positions on those issues remotely acceptable, but I think that there's a danger that we get bogged down in the debate and loose sight of what RE education is actually about and how it is played out in schools.

Posted by Erika Baker at Monday, 7 October 2013 at 1:09pm BST

Interested observer...the British classroom is not a police state. Whilst I deprecate homophobia, an RE teacher would still have the right to sensitively teach in a religious school (state funded or otherwise) that practising homosexuality is still regarded by the sponsoring faith tradition as a sin.

Even in a state school, a teacher could tell pupils about differing views. At GCSE (16 year exams) students discuss and debate the issue of abortion and other ethical issues. Pupils in Catholic schools know for instance that abortion is a sin, but also the arguments for, and where the other side are coming from...vice versa in a state school setting.In examinations they are asked to show knowledge of both view points.

Posted by robert ian Williams at Wednesday, 9 October 2013 at 12:47pm BST
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