Think-tank only trying to help

5th March 2004 at 00:00
Though I was at the Institute for Public Policy Research seminar which set off an explosion of comment last week, much of it ill-informed, I did not hear a government representative telling the meeting that its proposals were unhelpful, as stated in The TES article by Margaret Holness (February 20).

The seminar and report were not intended to be unhelpful; those present were largely positive about RE and its potential, and the discussion and report should be treated as legitimate and possibly useful contributions to an important discussion. It would obviously be helpful if people read the report before commenting on it.

Margaret Holness was also wrong in saying that most standing advisory councils on religious education, include humanist representatives. Only around 50 out of more than 160 in England and Wales include humanists, and in most cases those are co-opted and voteless.

Marilyn Mason

Education officer

British Humanist Association

1 Gower Street, London WC1

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