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Shake-up must look beyond school walls

Research evidence from the National Association of Teachers of RE is already indicating that the exclusion of RE from the English Baccalaureate subject list is affecting how the subject is being taught at GCSE-level.

In his letter (January 28) Martin Roberts was correct about the statutory nature of RE, but he does not seem to understand how good RE helps children to see the impact of belief systems on the world.

Most of the world's people consider themselves to have a faith, and all of us have beliefs, morals, ethics and philosophies; children are natural enquirers and questioners in these areas. RE in English community schools has developed a tradition, envied across much of Europe, for giving children the tools to become natural philosophers.

Paul Hopkins, Lecturer in religious studies, Hull University; executive officer, European Forum for Teachers of Religious Education.

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