The PM does RE
Posted on November 21, 2007 by Amy Tolmie
"To ensure that young people have the opportunity to learn about diversity and faith in modern Britain, we will work in partnership with religious education teachers to promote the national framework for teaching religious education in schools, including making sure that children learn about all faiths. An advisory group will work with local communities to support the citizenship education classes run by mosque schools in Bradford and elsewhere. I can announce that one essential part of this will be to twin schools of different faiths through our Â£2 million school linking programme, supported by the school linking network."
What's interesting is that he is giving a push to the National Framework, a voluntary guide to Local Authorities who have the say in what's in each local RE curriculum (unlike many other subjects there is no 'national currciulum' set by central government). The National Framework was introduced in 2004 and has had a mixed reception from faith groups. Canon John Hall, the Church of England's chief education officer, who with the Reverend Dr John Gay, director of the Culham Institute, represented the Church of England on the steering group, said, â€œThe new Framework emphasises the right of pupils and students at school to high quality, informative and challenging RE from the age of 3 to 19. It recognises the predominant place of Christianity, which is to be taught throughout each stage of the curriculum from foundation to post-16, but will also enable every pupil to understand and respect the other great faith traditions found in England. Above all it will help pupils with their personal religious development.â€
Hearing Gordon Brown mention the Framework is signficant because everything said in his statements is carefully worded. It represents a decision to push the Framework and ensure it's taken up by more Local Authorities. For schools workers, that means it may be worth taking a look at it, if you haven't already, and seeing where and how the Christian faith might feature. You can download the file here.