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Wide Public Support for RE in Schools

by Michael Ford last modified 29 Aug, 2014 02:50 PM

Research on attitudes to RE was conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) and published ahead of the first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on RE.

Wide Public Support for RE in Schools

Stephen Lloyd MP speaks at the inaugural APPG session - photo taken from the REC website

The views of all those who expressed an opinion on RE included the following:

  • Over half (53%) of all adults in England and Wales think that RE should remain a compulsory subject in state funded schools
  • 58% think it is beneficial for pupils to study RE
  • The above two percentages rise to 63% in each case among 18–24 year olds
  • 1 in 2 adults think RE provides a valuable space in the school day where young people can learn about all religious and non-religious beliefs

With religious and non-religious diversity increasing, these figures reflect the value adults attach to young people being able to articulate their own beliefs, as well as engaging with, respecting and understanding others.  50% of those who gave an opinion said RE was an essential component of a multi-faith society, as it promotes mutual respect, tolerance and understanding.  This rose to over half among 18-24 year olds (52%) and 25-34 year olds (56%).  In contrast, only 9% said they thought it was ‘harmful’ for pupils to study RE and only 13% thought it should not be taught in schools at all.

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