The Welsh Government today announced it will consult on a range of education reforms, including renaming religious education (RE) to ‘Religions and Worldviews’.
Wales Humanists, which campaigns for inclusive RE and relationships and sexuality education (RSE) and has previously provided submissions to the Welsh Government on proposed curriculum reforms, has said that this is a positive move toward inclusive teaching.
Other proposed changes include objective RSE lessons for all children with no parental right to withdraw, which Wales Humanists also welcomes; but also, alarmingly, parents losing the right to opt their children out of instructional, ‘faith-based RE’.
The proposed rename comes after the Government announced earlier this year it would change the law on RE to include the teaching of humanism on an equal footing to the major religions and brings Wales into line with the recommendations of the landmark Commission on RE report that proposed such changes in England.
Education Minister Kirsty Williams justified the move by saying: ‘“Religions and Worldviews” better reflects teaching practice within the new curriculum, and allows for the exploration of a range of religious and philosophical beliefs, as well as other beliefs and worldviews, including non-religious worldviews.’
Wales Humanists coordinator Kathy Riddick commented: ‘The move to rename Religious Education (RE) to the more inclusive title of Religions and Worldviews is a hugely welcome step toward ensuring that Welsh children receive a well-rounded education about different religions and humanism that does not seek to impose one perspective on pupils but instead helps them to understand the range of beliefs that people hold.’
For more information contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7324 3078.
Wales Humanists is a part of Humanists UK, the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by over 85,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefiting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.