Suffolk’s new RE syllabus ready for approval
Suffolk County Council’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) met on Friday 31st March to put the finishing touches to the new Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Suffolk. It will be presented to the county council’s cabinet for approval on 6th June.
Humanist SACRE representative Margaret Nelson reports that Humanism will be included in the syllabus, as recommended by the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority’s 2004 non-statutory national framework for RE. Her suggestions regarding the Suffolk syllabus were incorporated in the final draft, such as ensuring that ‘Humanism’ is spelt with a capital letter throughout – it might seem a trivial issue, but signifies that Humanism is a life stance, like Christianity, Hinduism, and the other religions.
Margaret has reservations about the teaching of RE in primary schools and special education. This is not a criticism of the Suffolk syllabus; RE is a statutory requirement for all children, including those who are too young to appreciate the difference between fact and faith. She will pursue her interest in the teaching of RE to this age group, offering suitable material for story telling to counter the influence of Bible stories and other religious resources.