12 March 2020, The Tablet

RE in danger in Welsh schools

Tablet Education

RE in danger in Welsh schools

Paul Barber: RE at risk of being lost


The Welsh Government is making changes to the curriculum that could spell disaster for a Catholic education, writes Paul Barber

IT has gone largely unreported in the press, but the Welsh Government is making wholescale changes to the way schools teach certain subjects. Some of these changes, if implemented, could have a damaging impact on Catholic schools and put the future of Catholic education in Wales at risk.

One of the most troubling proposals is the Government’s plan to change religious education (RE) to religion, values and ethics. On the face of it, a name-change may not sound that big a concern, but it would be surprising if such a move were not accompanied by a change in what the Government considers to be the content of the subject. Any attempt to impose that on Catholic schools could be disastrous for what the Church considers to be the most important subject on the curriculum.

Religious education is central to the core curriculum in Catholic schools, and at both primary and secondary levels at least 10 per cent of school time is dedicated to this subject. Academically rigorous, it is a school-level version of what most would recognise as the university subject of theology.

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