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Education in the media: Friday 16 February 2018

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Today’s Education in the Media looks at Religious Education in schools and celebrates Care Day.

Religious Education

On Thursday 15 February, the Religious Education Council issued a press release and published a report claiming a shortage of Religious Education (RE) teachers is contributing to religious discrimination.

The Sun, BBC Online and the TES covered the report. The Today Programme ran an interview the author, Rudolf Eliot Lockhart, who emphasised that learning RE from qualified teachers helps pupils become critical thinkers and more prepared to live in a diverse society.

We are clear that schools have a statutory duty to deliver quality Religious Education and it remains compulsory at each key state for all state-funded schools, including academies and free schools.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

There are now a record number of teachers in our schools – 15,500 more than in 2010. Retention rates have been broadly stable for the past 20 years and the teaching profession continues to be an attractive career.

Religious Education remains compulsory at each key stage for all state-funded schools, including academies and free schools, and we expect all schools to fulfil their statutory duties. In addition, we have changed the law and the requirements in schools so that they have to actively promote mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

Care Day

Today, Friday 16 February, we are marking Care Day 2018 which is being celebrated around the world. The day is an opportunity to honour children and young people with care experience.

The government is committed to improving the outcomes for children and young people in and leaving care. That is why we have invested £200 million in the Innovation Programme to help councils consider more innovative ways of caring for children in care and other vulnerable children.

Find out more about Care Day here.

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