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Religious Education

Education written question – answered on 3rd February 2011.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Conservative, Romsey and Southampton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Education for what reasons he has excluded religious studies from the humanities list of the English Baccalaureate.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

For the purposes of the 2010 performance tables the humanities element of the English Baccalaureate measure was either history or geography. We have not included religious education (RE) as fulfilling the humanity requirement of the English Baccalaureate because it is already a compulsory subject. One of the intentions of the English Baccalaureate is to encourage wider take up of geography and history in addition to, rather than instead of, compulsory RE.

However we recognise, as many schools do, the benefits that religious education can bring to pupils. This is why the teaching of RE remains compulsory throughout a pupil's schooling. Success in all subjects studied at GCSE will also continue to be recognised by other performance table measures, as it has in the past. We are open to arguments about how we can further improve the measures in the performance tables and will review the precise definition of the English Baccalaureate for the 2011 tables.

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