MP visits school in campaign to promote RE
MP STEPHEN Williams visited Bristol Cathedral Choir School as part of a national campaign to promote public understanding of religious education (RE).
The MP for Bristol West attended at the invitation of 15 teachers who are campaigning for a proper understanding of the value of RE by politicians and the public.
Campaigns to promote RE began across the country earlier this year, soon after it was announced that the new English Baccalaureate (EBacc) would not include the subject.
The exclusion of RE by Education Secretary Michael Gove has caused widespread concern that politicians see RE as a second-rate subject because it is not included as a humanities option in the EBacc.
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A group of 15 Bristol teachers from a range of different types of school were anxious that the teaching of RE should be properly understood by politicians and the public.
They attended Mr Williams' constituency surgery and persuaded him to view a lesson so he could appreciate the value of RE.
Dr Hugo Whately, an RE teacher at Redland High School, brought the group of teachers together.
He said: "RE is an academically rigorous subject but it equips pupils for a happy life as well as for work.
"The typical idea of an RE lesson is learning parrot-fashion long passages of the Bible but actually there is intelligent debate."
He added: "Mr Williams was struck by the difference between modern RE and his own experiences of the subject at school."