Teaching Religion

RE stands for religious education. In the UK, state schools have a duty to provide religious education to all students such that there are plenty of re teaching jobs for qualified individuals. This covers a variety of faiths although it tends to be richer in Christian content because of related legislation. There is no national curriculum followed across the board. Local education authorities agree on the content of the syllabus. This will then have to be ratified by a council composed of teachers, local councillors, and various religious groups. Parents are given the option of withdrawing their children from lessons that pertain to religion. They also have this power to boycott classes in matters of relationship and sex.


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Religion in the UK


At this point, it might be good to explore the religious environment in the United Kingdom. This region, like most of Europe, has been dominated by Christianity for over a millennium. It was, after all, part of the Roman Empire which is largely responsible for the spread of this faith. Of course, Christians don't necessarily agree on everything. These differences have led to different forms being practiced in different lands. The UK certainly had a profound influence on the history of this faith. There is no official religion in the union although the Church of England is considered as the state church in the country. The monarchs are mainly Protestants.


Recent Statistics


According to the 2011 census, Christianity remains the dominant force throughout the UK with 59.5 of respondents identifying as such. This translates to over 37 million people who are Roman Catholics, Protestants, and so on. This should be no surprise given the religion's rich history and tradition in the country. Perhaps the most interesting thing in the census is that the second biggest segment are people who openly said that they have no religion. They reached up to 25.7 or over 16 million citizens. The total non-Christians comprise 7.7 of the population which is equivalent to nearly 5 million people. These include those who practice Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other religions. The rest did not indicate anything on their survey form.


Religious Education in England


The Education Act of 1944 mandates the teaching of religion in the country. This law was amended by the Education Reform Act of 1988 as well as the School Standards and Framework Act of 1998. In essence, the laws of the land make it compulsory for state-funded schools to teach the subject. However, it is not compulsory for the children to take these. They can skip the religious classes if their parents disapprove of the content. This withdrawal must be approved by the school.




The classes do not preach any single religion but instead provide students with knowledge about different religious practices from all over the world. Moral themes are discussed as well. Despite the effort to have it cover a broad range of beliefs, Christianity dominates the discussions at it forms the backbone of the content. Daily acts of collective worship are also required in schools.