Current legislation means that every local authority in England and Wales must create a Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education, which has the power to call for an LEA to review it's Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. The legislation also means that every LEA must have it's own syllabus for RE. This has led to a wide range of different syllabuses, with sometimes vast differences in terms of quality, content, professional input and so on.

My idea is to reduce this layer of bureaucracy by calling for either a statutory National Framework for Religious Education (instead of the current non-statutory) or to greatly reduce the number of SACRE's and Agreed Syllabuses by creating regional SACRE's and syllabi. For example, Wales currentl has 22 LEA's, each wasting tax payers money on meetings, documentation and time. Most have adopted the non-statutory framework anyway, and it seems mad that a country with such as small population has so many syllabuses for it's children.

Why is this idea important?

 

By pooling regional resources, a better quality syllabus could be created (look at Hampshire for example, with Southampton and Portsmouth LA's and also the Welsh syllabi based on the non-statutory framework) which would benefit all schools, whilst maintaining that element of distinctiveness reflecting the religious diversity of an area. 

Alternatively, offer a choice of National Frameworks for schools to abide by, yet this may be a much more complex option. 

This is only a basic introduction to the idea, highlighting some of the benefits (primarily time, resources, saving confusion and improving quality) but one I think should be introduced.

Ultimately, every child in the UK in state schools receives Religious Education, and it should be of an excellent quality reflecting the diverse beliefs and multiculturalism present in modern Britain.

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