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Prospects and problems for Religious Education in England, 1967–1970: curriculum reform in political context

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This article provides an historical case study of an abortive attempt to revise policy and legislation relating to Religious Education (RE) in English schools in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Drawing upon published sources, including parliamentary debates, as well as previously unutilised national archival sources from the Department of Education and Science, it comments upon events which have hitherto been omitted from the historiography of RE, but which help to contextualise significant changes in RE theory and practice at that time. Moreover, it demonstrates that the current parlous state of RE in schools is in part the result of latent and longstanding issues and problems, rather than a consequence of present-day government policy alone. Therefore, in reviewing and developing RE policies and practices, all stakeholders are urged to look more closely at both changes and continuities in the subject’s past and the contexts in which they occurred.
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Keywords: Religious Education (RE); curriculum; history; legislation; policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK 2: Institute of Education, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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