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RE among key eight subjects

22 February 2013

RELIGIOUS studies will be one of the subjects that schools can include in the new "Performance Eight" measure for schools accountability, which was announced this month by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove. The narrower, five-subject EBacc proposal has been dropped after widespread consultation, but, with three additional subjects, it will still form the basis of the Performance Eight measure ( News, 15 February).

The Religious Education Council received the news this week in a statement from the Department for Education, after the Roman Catholic weekly The Tablet mistakenly reported at the weekend that RE was not among the acceptable extra subjects that could be included in the new measure.

The Church of England's chief education officer, the Revd Jan Ainsworth, said that the news would encourage schools to restore RE to its rightful place in the curriculum.

But the RE Council's reaction to the news was mixed: its chairman, John Keast, welcomed the confirmation that achievement in RS would count towards a school's performance, but pointed out that the subject remained marginalised. "So long as RS is not allowed to count as a humanities subject, such as history and geography, it will be consigned to second-class status."

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