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Govt urged to 'take notice' as hundreds more opt for Religious Studies at A-level

by Heather Preston

The Government is being called to put more funding into Religious Education following a rise in A-level entries for the subject.

There has been a 6.1 percent boost in the number of Religious Studies A-level exam entries this year with over 16,600 RS A-level entries recorded in England and Wales.

16,645 RS A-level entries were recorded in 2021, compared with 15,690 in 2020.

The Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) says this increase shows candidates see Religious Studies as a valuable subject and a relevant, essential life skill in society today.

RE consultant and REC spokesperson Ed Pawson tells Premier Religious Studies helps students to develop their own world view.

He said: "A level reflects what pupils really want to study themselves - they have free choice over that. 

"Religious Studies encompasses topics like ethics, philosophy and theology - all those areas are very relevant and very much discussed today in terms of what people believe and how does it make a difference to the way we live."

Together with the National Association of Teachers of RE, the REC are urging the Government to fund a National Plan to ensure the subject is well resourced and properly taught.

"RE has been neglected over many years, we want to see a 'religion of world views curriculum' which would be what RE has taught about over years but a more inclusive version that would be relevant to every pupil, not just for religious pupils.  

"The Government needs to take more notice of this subject and provide funding for a National plan," Pawson added.

The overall number of A-Level entries in England and Wales increased this year by 5.1 percent from 750,173 in 2020 to 788,421 in 2021.

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