Government bows to Christian pressure over religious education

Guardian: Pupils studying religious education will be taught that Britain is traditionally Christian, after the government bowed to pressure from the Anglican and Catholic churches and watered down proposals for pupils to study a minimum of two religions.

The initial proposals, made in the wake of the “Trojan horse” affair in Birmingham schools, were aimed at stopping schools from using religious education as a vehicle for promoting extremist Islamic ideas.

But after protests from the Church of England and Catholic and Jewish leaders, the Department for Education’s consultation paper issued on Friday allows schools to focus 75% of their RE teaching on a single religion.

The DfE said it had consulted widely among religious organisations before issuing the delayed paper, which was welcomed by the Catholic Education Service.

Malcolm McMahon, the Catholic archbishop of Liverpool and chairman of the CES, said: “We welcome the assurances from the secretary of state [for education] that these proposals do not undermine the autonomy of the Catholic bishops to determine and inspect religious education in Catholic schools.

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