*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Committee’s ignorance of the nature of RE

by
04 June 2008

iStock

From the Revd Sylvia Bareham
Sir, — Religious education in the state school is, and has been for the past 40 years at least, concerned with pupils’ learning about religion, and not with teaching them how to be religious. No particular faith or any on the part of the pupil is presumed or required, and there-fore RE is entirely “consistent with respect for a child’s right to freedom of thought, conscience, and belief”.

It is disturbing when members of the public in general and secularists in particular, like the cross-party committee on human rights (News, 23 May), either fail or refuse to recognise this, and so continue to attack the presence of the subject in the school curriculum.

Education should equip the child with the knowledge and skills needed to live in the world — a world in which religion has been and is a cultural, inspiring, and motivating element. To keep children ignorant of that would be a denial of their human rights, and any child who chose to withdraw from religious education and so preferred to remain ignorant would not have “sufficient maturity, understanding, and intelligence”.
SYLVIA BAREHAM
(formerly Head of Religious Education, The Bartholomew School, Eynsham, Oxford)
Davaar, Old Hall Lane
Fornham St Martin
Bury St Edmunds
Suffolk IP31 1SS

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear below your letter unless requested otherwise.

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available

 

SAVE THE DATE

Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website

 

ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)