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Positive effects of multi-faith RE

Carborundum's comments (TES, September 8) on Anthony Coombs' appointment as parliamentary private secretary to Gillian Shephard assumed throughout that Christianity in education is a liability, seeming to suggest that spiritually barren schools, and "relative comparative religion shading into blatant secularism" were nothing to worry about.

The use of the term "multi-faith" as a synonym for quality was but the latest example of the importance of symbolism in educational discussion.

People who hope that lashings of Christianity in religious education will make the nation Christian are mistaken. This is rightly taken as axiomatic. It is rare, however, for anyone to ask what good is done by multi-faith RE.

Is it perhaps time for someone to undertake research into the positive effects, in knowledge and attitudes, that are traceable in the population as a result of multi-faith RE in schools?

RICHARD WILKINS

General secretary Association of Christian Teachers 94A London Road St Albans Herts

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