Friday, November 26, 2004

Ofsted critical of Religious Education

An Ofsted report published today claimed that most locally agreed syllabuses for RE were "not good enough", and that those devising the syllabuses "did not have the educational expertise to produce them without professional support".

The Guardian (Manchester) reports here, or you can read Ofsted's official press release here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Bishop defends right to live in castle

Evangelical Bishop of Durham and esteemed New Testament scholar Rt Rev Tom (NT) Wright has been defending his right to live in the lavish Auckland Palace, according to yesterday's Telegraph (London).

Bishop Wright attacked "the forces of commercialism" for depriving the Church of some of its "most deep-rooted symbols" by selling off its ancient heritage for short-term gain. He warned against "inverted snobbery" and received support from the Telegraph, who commented in their leader column that the bishop "is being neither selfish nor spendthrift. He is being pragmatic and intelligent by stating that hardly any money will be saved by relocating him and that any money saved will not be worth the concomitant loss of splendour."

Read the summary here.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Jewish heritage under threat

Some British Jews fear their heritage may be under threat following the sale of several hundred Hebrew manuscripts for £4.3 million last week.

The collection, belonging to the Montefiore Endowment, was auctioned off at Sotheby's in New York. According to the Telegraph (London), there is "growing concern among scholars that Britain's Jewish community is breaking up key parts of its heritage for short-term convenience and gain."

More here.

Gays and lesbians disappointed by new RE guidelines

The gay community in the UK has criticized the Labour governments new National Framework for failing to address sexuality in its guidelines on the teaching of tolerance.

The document, published today, says pupils should "appreciate and view positively differences in others, whether arising from race, gender, ability or disability", but gay rights groups are claiming sexuality was deliberately sidelined in an attempt to appease religious groups.

More here.

Friday, October 29, 2004

RE framework launched

Education Secretary Charles Clark's National Framework for Religious Education has been officially launched. Read more here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Drive to educate children about Islam

The BBC reports that the Muslim Council of Britain has launched a drive to equip schools in Britain with books, videos and CDs in an attempt to inform schoolchildren of the "true meaning" of Islam.

The initiative, aimed at Key Stages One and Two, has received the full backing of Education Secretary Charles Clark.

More here.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Be proud of your religion, says Pope

Catholics should not be afraid to speak about their faith, and should wear symbols and signs of faith in public with pride, the Pope said this weekend.

The pontiff's remarks may be taken to indicate support for Muslims and Jews, whose right to wear headscarves and skullcaps, respectively, has been the subject of great controversy in France recently, after a new law banned the display of "conspicuous religious symbols" in French schools.

Read more at the BBC website.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Tots to be taught tolerance

Scotland on Sunday reported today that Scottish children as young as three will be educated on "the horror of religious intolerance" in a drive to combat sectarianism.

A pilot scheme beginning next week will target the traditional Catholic-Protestant divide, as well as Islamophobia and prejudice against other faiths. Eventually the scheme will extend to all Scottish schools, hopefully by the academic year 2005/2006.

Full story here.