British Education Secretary to Launch Religious Teaching Reforms

By Tim Ross, Education Corespondent, PA News, Oct 27, 2004

London, UK -- Education Secretary Charles Clarke will launch new national guidelines on teaching religious education today.

The first RE ?framework? is expected to recommend that secular philosophies and world views independent of any religion should be taught alongside Christianity.

A draft version of the framework was put out for consultation earlier this year.

It said Christianity should be taught at all age-levels while children would be expected to learn about Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Sikhism and Buddhism at some stage.

Other religious faiths, for example the Baha?i faith, Jainism and Zoroastrianism, should also be offered for study where appropriate, the draft said.

The first national religious education guidelines for England will be unveiled by Mr Clarke and the head of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, Ken Boston.

While the framework has no legal force, it is intended as a guide for local education authorities when they devise study programmes for local schools.