Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at a parents’ right to withdraw their children from religious education, and the latest figures on the uptake of 30 hours free childcare.
Yesterday, Wednesday 11 April, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ called on the government to stop parents from withdrawing their children from religious education in schools.
Parents do have the right to remove their children from part of or all of their religious education lessons if they feel that teaching conflicts with their values or beliefs.
The government firmly believes in the importance of religious education. Good quality religious education can develop children’s knowledge of the values and traditions of Britain and other countries, and foster understanding among different faiths and cultures. That is why religious education remains compulsory for all state funded schools, including academies and free schools, at all key stages.
Religious Education GCSEs and A Levels have been reformed to be robust and rigorous, to match the best education systems in the world and to keep pace with universities’ and employers’ demands. As a result, for the first time students studying the Religious Studies GCSE will be required to study two religions in depth.
The story was covered by The Independent, Daily Telegraph, the Sun and the Daily Mail.
A Department of Education spokesperson said:
Good quality religious education can develop children’s knowledge of the values and traditions of Britain and help foster understanding among different faiths and cultures.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or any part of religious education, but schools should make sure that parents who want to do this are aware of the religious education syllabus and its relevance to all pupils.
30 hours free childcare
Today, Thursday 12 April, the department published the latest 30 hours’ free childcare statistics, showing that 377,000 eligibility codes have been issued as of 31 March. It is excellent to see so many working parents taking advantage of the 30 hours’ free childcare offer this government is providing.
Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said:
Today’s figures show just how popular our 30 hours offer continues to be, with over 377,000 codes issued to parents so they can access the hours.
We are making excellent progress in our mission to help as many families as possible access high-quality and affordable early education and childcare. We want every child to get the best start in life so it’s great news that so many are taking advantage of the 30 hours free childcare offer.