Background to the Religion and Worldviews debate

3 Oct 2022

Many of you will have read our report on the “Religion and Worldviews” debate. It has certainly sparked a great deal of discussion since we published it in June this year. As the dominant view in our sector continues to be challenged by those who would like a move to a worldviews curriculum, we thought it would be useful to review the political debate around the subject.

On 6th December 2018 Damian Hinds, then Secretary of State for Education, wrote to the Very Revd Dr John Hall, Chair of the Commission on Religious Education, rejecting the call to move to a “Religion and Worldviews” curriculum. You can read his full letter here.

The question was debated in the House of Lords on 17th December 2018. There were a number of concerns raised, including the fear that such changes would ‘undermine rigour’ in religious education, ‘risks diluting the teaching of RE’ and would ‘potentially depress religious literacy and understanding at a time when persecution of religious freedom has increased globally.’ The concept of a ‘worldview’ is highly disputed and the approach of Weltanshauung (Lord Tavern, Hansard 17 December 2018) far from straightforward. You can read the full debate here.