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So... is RE a Humanities subject?

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by deva_1982, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Hi all,
    My head of department took the advice and emailed Mchael Gove.
    Back at school today we received a reply saying that RE is not in the E Bacc as it is and remains a compulsory subject in secondary schools. Their aim was to create a wider scope of pupils choosing 'more academic' GCSE subjects and a greater uptake of Geography and History.

    However, this makes little sense in our school, as Humanities is one of the top performing faculties. We have a 50% take up rate of Geog and/ or History, really good or excellent RE results and also successfully teach GCSE Humanities. However, someone in a government office somewhere made the decision that only two of these subjects count as 'a humanity.' Therefore, our SLMT made the decision to re-shuffle a large section of Year 10 to offer them more options.

    I am pleased to see that RE does not seem to be at risk; however, I consider PSHE and Citizenship (my other specialisms) to be really important to a child's development, and they do seem to be at risk now.

    My other concern is that the widely differing faith stances and syllabus choices in RE has put the govt administrators off picking it as an E Bacc subject (or that they would be accused of meddling in the non-NC subject etc) - what do other people think about this?
  2. Helena Handbasket

    Helena Handbasket New commenter

    I am not too worried about it not being on the E Bacc to be honest. It is still compulsory and is still there as an option for pupils to take. If anything it may increase the positions for RE teachers rather than getting other members of the humanities team to take on a couple of lessons a week as they may be having more GCSE classes now everyone has to do either History or Geography.

    I think the whole E Bacc thing is a load of codswollup anyway and probably won't last long once they see the results from pupils.
  3. The problem is Helena that RS will not be compulsory in Academies, and (whether we like it or not) most schools are eventually going to pushed to be Academies.
    Therefore RS will not be compulsory, and if it is not in the EBacc there will be no league table benefit to delivering it. Schools may well then have 'options' blocks where pupils have to do Eng, Maths, Science, Lang and then either Hist or Geog, and RS will be missing.
    This is non-sensical given that all 3 are Humanities subjects with many shared skill-sets.
    It also seems daft given that we are also one of the subjects that the Russell group universities value, and that therefore they at least see us as a valid and academically challenging subject.
  4. RE will be pushed out. do not be under any illusion.
    Students in many schools will be doing Eng Lang, Lit, Maths, CHem, Phy, Bio, Hist / Geog, MFL - that is 8 out of a normal 10 options already gone. All the Arts will (maybe rightly) be recommended as a Humanities (Hist or Geog) will already be chosen. Not many will choose to do double Humanities when there are fewer free choices in the first place.
    There will really quickly be a readjustment - just wait until league tables come out this week (wednesday) from last year with the EBacc used. To start with SLT will say 'we don't care about league tables' or something similar .... but that will soon change.
    We must campaign urgently and significantly.
    I just heard of a school where the Head supported the Head of RE and e mailed all parents (It may have just been all parents whose children do GCSE or A level RE) to ask them to e mail / write to Gove and Gibb and the MP to include RE as a Humanity, explaining the issues as above. For instance, every university prospectus / department in teh country lists RE as one of the Humanities - including Oxford (where Gove studied)!
    The same Head of RE explained the issue to students and then asked them if they wanted to e mail Gove and Gibb from teh school computers, booked for the next lesson.
    I wondered if this lobbying was right and then decided that I have yet to find ANYONE who thinks that Hunanities should be defined in a way that excludes RE so we owe it to future students to campaign hard and positive. I think Gove said that the 'definition of humanities and languages' may yet be reviewed but the categories would stay. That allows a way in for RE that isn't totally a 'u turn'.
    I think there is a bit of a subtext that RE may be seen as less academic and rigorous than History and Geography. Where schools have a Humanities column for options, do they direct less able students to History or RE? Maybe it depends on the school.
    Please keep spreading the word and get parents and students and Heads and colleagues to write - contact everyone in partner schools. This can still be changed but the door of opportunity to do so may well close without any warning. The 'standard response' e mail (as in post 16 above) shows how it could be easy for Gove et al to just become deaf and entrenched.
  5. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter


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