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RE's EBac omission is 'indefensible'

News | Published in TES Newspaper on 18 March, 2011

The Archbishop of Westminster has attacked the omission of RE from the English Baccalaureate as "indefensible". The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols said religious studies were "an invaluable help in the project of building the common good".

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Comment (2)

  • The Archbishop of Westminster heads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster, in England; is he speaking on behalf of the Pope? More importantly we need to ask why ANY religious organisation is trying to meddle in state education matters?

    The catholic church does not have a good record on matters dealing with young people and until it opens the doors of the catholic church to legal procedures against pedophile priests it has no moral basis on which to preach about what is right or wrong concerning any child let alone all pupils in England.

    Vincent Nichols attended St. Mary's College in Crosby from 1956 to 1963 which was then run by the Christian Brothers; so he must have some first hand experience of dealings with the more abusive end of his faith,

    In August 2010 Archbishop Nichols expressed support for the echoes of Catholic teaching emerging in the language of the new Coalition Government. In particular, he is enthusiastic at the opportunities offered by Mr Cameron’s call for a Big Society. Nichols said that “It gives us an experience of being together in a place that turns things on their head a bit,”. He expressed excitement at the potential for the Coalition so I presume he is hoping to have more influence on the Tories English Baccalaureate with his ''you scratch my back & I'll put in a good word with the catholic voters'' tactics.


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    23 March, 2011

    Brooke Bond

  • Are you sure what religious studies actually is? As an atheist, and an RE teacher I doubt you don't. Yes, I agree that confessional education might be a problem that needs addressing but pupils need to understand the world they live in during school. In no way do I, or any other teacher I know in non-denominatinal schools, teach about a 'true' faith. The majority of people living on this planet are religious, and their religious beliefs affect their actions and beliefs on almost all world issues. If a child is to understand, or even challenege religion, then they need to study religion, alongside atheism, agnosticism and humanism etc... It creates a perfect environment to study the skills of interpretation, debate, evaluation etc... It is the only subject that tackles controversal issues, that deals with the wide range of cultures in Britain and the World, that allows the pupils to think critically about their own views, parents views, friends views and the views of others. To exclude a massive part of humanity from the humanity subjects in education creates an unrealistic perception of the world. If your argument is against faith based schools then please make it obvious. If not, then please argue your points based on what real RE is about in school.

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    22 June, 2011


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