UK: Church Condemns Proposal to End Religious Instruction in Schools

End Religious Instruction

After a landmark report sought religious instruction to be removed from the academic curricula of schools across the United Kingdom, Catholic Education Service has expressed concern, saying Christian education is incomplete without such teachings.

The criticism from Catholic Education Service, which happens to be an arm of Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, was published in a report written by former education secretary Charles Clarke and Lancaster University professor Linda Woodhead. The report, titled A New Settlement: Religion and Belief in Schools, stressed that religious instruction is the obligation of religious families and communities. It explained while religious education should be offered to students, religious instruction is a separate issue that is better left to families, Sunday schools and madrasas.

The report read, “It should take place outside the school day, and should only take place on the premises of schools if those schools also properly provide the pupils involved with religious education on the basis of the legally required RE syllabus.”

However, Paul Barber, director of Catholic Education Service, said that it was compulsory for all Catholic schools to instruct their students with the teachings of Catholicism.

He said, “Religious education is at the core of the curriculum in a Catholic school and must make up at least 10 per cent of the curriculum. All Catholic schools must present an authentic vision of the Church’s moral and social teaching and instruct pupils in the teachings of the Catholic faith. This encourages deeper religious and theological understanding and enables pupils to relate their own faith to daily life.”

Photo Credits: The Conversation

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