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Religion in schools: learning lessons from Wales

Sandberg, Russell ORCID: 2022. Religion in schools: learning lessons from Wales. Anthem Studies in Law Reform, Anthem Press.

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To what extent should religion be taught in classrooms? Should lessons also cover non-religious beliefs? Should the teaching of religion be compulsory or should it be a matter of choice by the parents or the child? Should faith schools be allowed to teach their religious beliefs? Should religious worship be compulsory for all pupils? Questions of how religion operates within schools prove controversial and divisive. This book explores the historical development of the law on these matters in England and Wales before exploring the radical changes that are being made in Wales and the lessons that can be learnt from them for elsewhere, especially England where the law remains in its unreformed state. Part one of the book uncovers how the law on religion in schools has been the product of historical compromises that reflected the social and religious nature of their times and reveals that the explicit reference to Christianity was a very late addition. Requirements that religious education syllabuses must reflect ‘the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian’ and that daily ‘collective worship shall be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’ date back only to the time of the Thatcher Government. Part two of the book explores how the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021 introduces a new curriculum for Wales and makes the teaching of Religion, Values and Ethics compulsory for all. As the name of the new subject suggests, the study of non-religious beliefs will now be explicitly included and groups such as humanists will play a role in the writing of the curriculum. The book provides a legislative history of what was to become the 2021 Act and examines the author’s own contributions to Welsh Parliament debates on the matter. The 2021 Act will mean that the law on the teaching of religion in Wales will differ from England for the first time. This book will explore what can be learnt from developments in Wales and whether the reforms go far enough.

Item Type: Book
Book Type: Authored Book
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > KD England and Wales
Publisher: Anthem Press
ISBN: 9781839984259
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 10:26

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