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UK News

Religious Education step closer to including non-religious 'worldviews'

£150,000 has been granted to fund the creation of new materials to help subject leads and advisers build a new syllabus for RE in England and Wales which includes other worldviews. 

RE Today and the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) will produce the new materials to help RE teachers develop curriculums that include a wider variety of beliefs. 

It comes after The Templeton World Charity Foundation Inc. awarded a £150,000 grant to REC to fund the creation of materials to help subject leads and advisers build a syllabus and define a curriculum for teaching religious education framed by the new worldview vision.”

The worldview approach emphasises the importance of the contribution of religious and non-religious worldviews to human life. It focuses both on organised worldviews and the personal worldviews that pupils bring with them into the classroom.

Speaking to Premier, Professor Trevor Cooling, Chair of the REC, said the funding will allow the council to support those who have to write the syllabi. 

"If it weren't for this grant, there would not be any support in doing that. We're moving into a whole new phase of the way in which Religious Education is going to be taught."

Including "worldviews" in RE teaching was one the central recommendations made by the Commission on Religious Education's report published in 2018. 

"We live in a world where many young people describe themselves as having no religion. They are not particularly interested in religion, but they're very interested in sort of spiritual questions and the whole way in which people shape their lives," Professor Cooling said. 

"It's providing young people with an education which equips them to flourish and contribute to that world."

Commenting on the project, Stephen Pett, project leader from RE Today, said:

"This is an exciting project, offering the opportunity to make a significant impact on the direction and quality of RE for the coming years.

"We will draw on the rich possibilities opened up through a study of religious and non-religious worldviews and offer different models for applying these ideas to curriculum development. We want pupils to gain a richer understanding of religion and of religious and non-religious worldviews, as part of their understanding of the world and of themselves."

The materials will be developed in three phases over the next three years. 

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