During my time researching this year I have been able to pause, sit back and reflect about my role as a facilitator and educator of RE. I have been able to meet and discuss with students, teachers and other professionals about the value of RE and I have taken time to study national reports published on its status within our schools.
“Why do we have to do RE sir?”, a question I am sure many of us have been asked on multiple occasions over the years.
This was the start of a discussion I had with a nurse, who was looking after my dad in The Royal Liverpool hospital during October 2018 as I started my Farmington research.
“Has RE helped you in your career?” was the question I asked, “No!” was the answer, “Not really, as I went to Catholic school and all I learned about was Mark’s Gospel”.
“It could have done; it should have done,” was my response.
Over the last few years there has been a huge amount of discussion about the role and value of RE within our Curriculum. There have been several key reports published, all with similar themes: a need for change, a widening of attitudes, a preparation for life in the eclectic mix of Modern Britain. I argue against the Catholic church’s view that traditional RE teaching must continue as it is, to make a case for the necessity of coming together with a clearer plan about RE teaching which tackles the big questions of our time and promotes understanding of all our faiths and different world views.