A New Settlement Revised: Religion and Belief in Schools

This new report has found a lack of reform in the relationship between religion and schools is damaging England's school system and requires urgent reform. The conclusion has been offered by national religion and society expert, Professor Linda Woodhead, and former Secretary of State for Education, the RT Hon Charles Clarke. Their new paper follows on directly from an earlier series of recommendations published back in 2015.

Their latest findings include that many schools consider the good teaching of Religious Education (RE) an ‘irksome appendage’ and since 2015 a significant and growing number of secondary schools have stopped providing it for all pupils. The authors find that longstanding inaction by Government to reform the ‘outdated’ legislative framework around RE and Collective Worship is putting RE at risk of a spiral of decline, with it seemingly having already happened to Collective Worship. The paper finds that current laws around compulsory daily worship in schools are ‘effectively unenforced and probably unenforceable’. 

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