VIEWS – Christians in Education


What should be the purpose and scope of Religious Education in an increasingly pluralist and multi-faith society? An independent commission has been set up by the Religious Education Council of England and Wales to make ‘wide-ranging recommendations for change’ within religious education in schools. It follows a report last year from Goldsmiths, University of London, which argued that RE in England’s schools needs a total overhaul to keep pace with the changing religious landscape of the country. Listen to the Radio 4 Beyond Belief discussion.

Another year’s GCSE and A-level results, another bumper crop for… grammars? Academies? Yes, absolutely. But there’s a third group of state schools that outperform the average that gets far less positive attention: the nation’s faith schools. This year’s exam results prove again that belief and academic rigour can coexist. Faith schools are beacons of intellectual rigour. Read more

This year’s BBC Young Musician winner has had to balance revising for exams with preparing for his Royal Festival Hall concerto debut. And then there’s finding time to beat his brother at football. Talking to the Guardian, Sheku Kanneh-Mason argues that the problem with classical music isn’t that it’s elitist, but that it’s expensive, and very little financial support is available for musically gifted children. Read more

Last week, hundreds of thousands of teenagers opened their GCSE results, accompanied by the usual attention on grades and whether As and A*s are up or down. But this relentless focus on just one metric is contributing to a pressing skills crisis that could be profoundly damaging for the UK’s economy. Read more

Over the summer, stories made headlines when parents fell out spectacularly with schools – over paying for meals, or disappointing results. We headteachers really want to get on with all our families. Sometimes, though, we see the fallout of unwise parenting. We look at some children’s anxieties or difficult behaviour and we have an idea where it comes from. Read more for 10 parenting tips from a head teacher.

Like Flying Ant Week or Ed Balls Day, School News Reporting follows an annual cycle, and this week (the first term for most) usually has a story which can charitably be summarised as ‘School has rule and sticks to it.’ I’ve worked at schools where police came to the gates so often the playground was nicknamed Scotland Yard. And kids get sent home all the time for school uniform, for rucks, for health reasons. So a story about police breaking up a scuffle outside a school because the Head teacher was enforcing a strict new uniform code wouldn’t get outside local news, right? Read more from Tom Bennett on enforcing uniform rules.

For the UK it’s the first week back to school after what has felt like a very long summer! Now you might be a parent who rejoices, like me, that school and routine makes its comeback right about now; you might be a parent who is less than enthusiastic about the return to school; you might be a teacher, a youth/children’s/schools worker, a member of the wider school community or a commuter; whoever you are, whatever your feelings are about the 6 week break, this week is a significant one. Read more from Jenni Osborn’s new blog.