Parliamentarians: ‘RE provision is a postcode lottery’

The provision of Religious Education across the UK is a “postcode lottery”, MPs and Peers have said.

Endorsing a letter to the Education Secretary Gillian Keegan from Religious Education Council (REC) member Culham St. Gabriel’s Trust, more than 30 parliamentarians raised “critical issues facing the teaching of RE today”.

In December 2022, a survey conducted by Savanta ComRes revealed that seven in ten parents of school age children believe RE is an important part of their child’s education.


The parliamentarians highlighted that while some children are receiving “a comprehensive well-taught education”, for others the teaching of RE was “tokenistic” or absent.

“In the absence of consistently high-quality RE,” it argued, “our children miss out on an essential opportunity to learn knowledge and skills that will equip them” to play their part in society.

Signatories of the letter include Sir Peter Bottomley, the Father of the House, the Bishop of Durham Rt Rev Paul Butler, and Labour peer Lord Boateng.

A Department for Education spokesman told The Daily Telegraph that RE “remains compulsory for all pupils at state-funded mainstream schools up to the age of 18”.

RE syllabuses “… shall reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain”.
Education Act 1996

Children’s Commissioner

Earlier this year, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, said “great RE provision” enriches the lives of students.

Speaking at the REC’s 50th anniversary celebration, Dame Rachel told delegates: “As a former RE teacher myself, I know first-hand how enriching the subject can be for children and young people.”

She added: “crucially, RE is a place where these young people can discuss important and exciting philosophical, religious and moral conundrums in safe spaces”.

Also see:

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