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UK News

Number of pupils studying Religious Studies A-level continues to fall

by Marcus Jones

There were 11.5 per cent less students studying Religious Studies at A-level this year compared to 2019.

15,692 picked up results today, down from 17,490 twelve months ago.

The decline in numbers isn't as bad as other humanities though, with Geography down 16.2 per cent and History down 15.1 per cent.

There was also an overall 2.6 per cent decline in pupils in 2020.

Religious studies remains far more popular than in 2003 when just 11,132 pupils studied the subject at A-level.

Professor Trevor Cooling, chair of Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC), said: "The figures are encouraging. Despite the context of a declining cohort of 18 year olds, the reduction in A-level entries and the knock on effect of some schools' failure to provide Religious Studies at Key Stage 4, the subject is proving its popularity at this level.

"While other humanities have seen a significant decline over time, RS has held firm. It is testimony to the value that young people, higher education institutions and employers, place on Religious Studies.

"The Government should recognise the importance of RS in preparing pupils for life in multicultural Britain and a globalised workplace and take forward the recommendations of the Commission on RE for a National Entitlement to Religion and Worldviews."

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