Large amount of pupils are not given the option to pick RE for GCSE, there was a survey of 1,800 adults and half of them said people back obligatory lessons in RE up to the age of 16. A Department for Education spokesman said: “RE remains a statutory part of the wider school curriculum for every single student up to 16. It’s rightly down to schools themselves to judge how it is taught and how it fits into wider school life.
John Keast, chairman of the RE Council, said the group was necessary to counter concerns that the subject was becoming increasingly marginalised by Coalition reforms to education.
This includes a Government decision to exclude RE from the English Baccalaureate – a new school leaving certificate that rewards pupils gaining good GCSE grades the five core academic disciplines of maths, English, science, foreign languages and either history or geography.
It is feared that this is leading to a decline in the number of schools offering the subject at GCSE level.
Mr Keast said: “There have been a number of unintended consequences for RE as a result of changes made by the Government.