We feel that Religious Education (RE), when taught well and with reference to ethics and non-religious viewpoints, can be a very important part of children’s education. This is why we’re happy to provide school speakers on humanism and direct schools to the excellent resources produced by Humanists UK.
Unlike any other subject, whilst RE must be taught as part of the curriculum, its content is not prescribed by the English National Curriculum. Instead, what is taught is decided at local education authority level by SACREs – Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education.
Gloucestershire Humanists has had representation on Gloucestershire SACRE for many years now and have participated in drafting the RE syllabus for the county. Unlike all other representatives, including those from faith communities, we do not yet have voting rights. However, we are an active member of the group and frequently participate in SACRE-run training days for RE teachers, and will continue to advocate for broad and high-quality ‘religious’ education that also encompasses critical thinking skills and philosophy.
It’s also worth noting that considering humanism / non-religious worldview alongside religious perspectives is explicitly mentioned in the Key Stage 3 and 4 curricula.
You can read more about Humanist UK’s campaigning work in RE here.