Saturday, May 24, 2008

Humanists appointed to new Government steering group on Religious Education

After many years of urging by the BHA and many others, the Government has now announced a revision of the notorious ‘Circular 1/94’, the official guidance on RE and on SACREs (the local bodies which oversee RE in each local authority - Standing Advisory Council for RE). The process will be guided by a steering group of thirty representatives of different organisations with interest and expertise in RE and we are very pleased that the BHA has two places on this steering group.

They will be filled by Andrew Copson, BHA Director of Education and Public Affairs and Marilyn Mason, former BHA Education Officer. Over the next 18 months, this group will meet to discuss the many issues to be engaged by the new guidance. Mr Copson commented,
‘Circular 1/94 is the document which is invariably used to exclude humanists from full membership of SACREs and also lays an undue emphasis on Christianity in general and religions in particular which the BHA believes is seriously out of step with contemporary best practice in the teaching about religions and non-religious beliefs.
We are looking forward to working on the steering group to reform these outmoded aspects of the official guidance.’

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