Schools must teach Britain is Christian, DfE says

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New guidance issued by the Department for Education in England says schools in England do not need to give non-religious views "equal air time" and should continue to teach pupils that the UK is a principally Christian country.

Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, said: "This government is determined to protect schools' freedom to set their own religious studies curriculum, in line with the wishes of parents and the local community.

"The guidance I have issued makes absolutely clear that the recent judicial review will have no impact on what is currently being taught in religious education.

"I am clear that both faith and non-faith schools are completely entitled to prioritise the teaching of religion and faith over non-religious world views if they wish."

Mrs Morgan is understood to have been concerned that humanists were using the court ruling to pressure schools into giving non-religious views more prominence.

The guidelines added that non-faith schools should reflect that religious traditions in Great Britain are mainly Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented across the country.

An influential report from the Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life released last month found Britain was no longer a Christian country.

It pointed to a decline in the number of people attending church services and the rise of Islam.

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