We neglect RE at our peril

16th March 2012 at 00:00

Recent weeks have seen a spate of stories about religion and belief, from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee speech to prayers at Bideford council. The Religion and Society Research Programme, using taxpayers' money, has invested #163;12 million to research these issues. On 22 February, it was education's turn to be featured in the high-profile seminar series reporting on the findings. Despite disagreement, there was consensus on one point. As a society, we neglect religious education at our peril.

The recent announcement that an all-party parliamentary group on RE has been launched by Stephen Lloyd MP is an indication that parliamentarians recognise the importance of this subject. Sadly, recent policy changes suggest that the government is out of tune with this informed body of opinion. We look forward to a sign that Michael Gove also realises this. It is urgently needed.

John Keast OBE, Chair, Religious Education Council of England and Wales.

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