Sir, We applaud the aspiration of Mr Gove for greater academic rigour in the educational experience of our young people and his intention that this is reflected in the examining of core subjects.
Mr Gove has expressed his admiration of faith schools. Their students not only gain impressive value-added results in public examinations, they are formed by the values and beliefs of their schools which help them to become compassionate human beings.
Religious Education is at the heart of the curriculum in faith schools but, under current proposals, it has no place among core English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects. Examinations should reflect the priorities of the curriculum but the current EBacc proposals make this impossible for such schools. We would hope that the Government’s response to its consultation, which ends today, will be to recognise this contradiction. Faith schools form an important proportion of our education provision; one third of all schools are either Church of England or Catholic.
A solution to this problem could be to add Religious Studies to History and Geography as EBacc Humanities subjects either for faith schools only or ideally for all schools. Then, with a more demanding content, if required, it could be included as one of the core subjects which compose the more rigorous English Baccalaureate. This is surely in keeping with Mr Gove’s aims.
Headmaster, St George’s Weybridge
The Rev Gabriel Everitt, Osb Headmaster, Ampleforth College
Paul Stubbings Headmaster, Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School
Maureen Martin Headteacher, Coloma Convent Girls’ School
Click here to read the letter © The Times