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Gove’s new exam plans will not help RE, says CES

By on Friday, 8 February 2013

Michael Gove addresses the House of Commons PA Photos

Michael Gove addresses the House of Commons PA Photos

The Catholic Education Service (CES) for England and Wales has reiterated concerns that Religious Education will remain relegated among academic subjects, after plans to introduce the English Baccalaureate were scrapped yesterday.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, had planned to introduce an English Baccalaurate Certificate (EBC) for five core subjects, excluding Religious Education, but it was announced yesterday that plans for the EBC would not proceed after all.

A statement from the CES said that under new proposals RE would still not be given sufficient importance. It said that the Catholic Education Service was “disappointed that Religious Education remains effectively relegated to outside the ‘core’ under these proposals when it is at the very heart of the curriculum in every one of our more than 2,000 schools in England.”

It continued: “GCSE RE is a valuable and worthwhile subject, but it could be better, and we hope to be able to work with Ofqual and Examination Boards to ensure that it becomes so.”

The statement added: “We welcome the announcement today by the Secretary of State for Education concerning the reform of qualifications at 16. It is clear that the government’s own consultation regarding examination reform showed broad consensus, accepting the need for reform yet rejecting the initial proposals for that reform. That the Secretary of State proposes to reform exams ‘with the help of school and university leaders’ is particularly welcome. Working closely with education professionals will help ensure that any reform will enjoy the widest possible support and confidence.”

  • http://twitter.com/karlmeyer karl meyer

    Whilst schools are permitted to select which religions are studied and to exclude religions the RE GSCE remains a largely pointless examination.

    Schools aren’t permitted to teach biology but study only plant biology and exclude any reference to animals. Why? because unless everyone studies the same subject mater how can the exams be considered equal.

    Too many schools teach Religious Instruction under the guise of “education” and whilst this continues any RE GCSE has zero value.

    I opted not to bother taking the RE “O” level offered by my school as I preferred to use my time and efforts on subjects that would make a difference to my career prospects. 

  • scary goat

     Well, I’m not very sure about that.  As far as I understand it, schools are supposed to teach Christianity + at least one other religion (depending on demographics) as well as “moral thinking”. My info might be 5 or 6 years out of date but still fairly recent.  I know our school which is a Catholic school, is pretty good on the comparative religion side of things.  Also, at GCSE youngsters are starting to specialise.  You are supposed to get the elementary basics of “everything” before that point. I remember well studying specific periods of history and specific elements of geography etc. for ‘O’ level….not ALL of it.

  • Parasum

    News just in: RE is not a core subject, so it cannot be treated as one. If people want their beliefs to be taught, they must do it themselves. If they don’t make the time to do so, that proves only that they don’t, after all, regard RE as anything like as important as they claim it is.  They can’t both expect the the State to do their work for them, and blame it for doing so.  The Government needs to stop pandering to the Churches.