Religious studies 'must be part of national curriculum'

A leading Reform rabbi has called for religious education to be made part of the national curriculum.

Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, of Maidenhead Synagogue, said that the launch of new government guidelines on teaching the subject did not go far enough.

Although RE is currently compulsory in schools, it remains outside the national curriculum: faith schools are permitted to restrict the content to their own faith, while general schools are required to learn something about the main religions in the UK.

Rabbi Romain - who is a longstanding opponent of separate faith schooling - said that RE would continue to suffer unless it were incorporated into the national curriculum, “with community schools varying in what they cover, while faith schools can teach one faith only to the exclusion of all others.”

He added: “A fully inclusive RE is important both as a matter of general knowledge and as an aid to social cohesion as children and young people emerge into a diverse society.”

Last updated: 1:57pm, October 25 2013