RE’s Knowledge Vacuum


Religious Education occupies a unique legal position; although compulsory, it is not part of the National Curriculum. As such, when the 2011 National Curriculum Review took place, RE fell behind developments in other subjects. In 2013, the RE Council (63 mainly religious organisations interested in RE) responded by creating a National Framework for RE. The supposed aim was to construct a document for RE mirroring the National Curriculum. Unfortunately, the resemblance is faint.

Central to the development of the National Curriculum was the idea that it should ‘set out a core of essential knowledge.’ The DfE’s key principles state that it “should embody rigour and high standards and create coherence in what is taught in schools, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to acquire a core of knowledge in the key subject disciplines (and) should provide young people with the knowledge they need to move confidently and successfully through their education”

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