Brighton MP backs campaign to save religious education

Posted On 30 Jun 2011 at 7:08 pm

A petition to save religious education (RE) was handed in to 10 Downing Street today with the support of Brighton Pavilion Green MP Caroline Lucas.

She was one of 112 MPs and 140,000 members of the public across the political spectrum to sign up to the campaign to save RE.

The RE.ACT campaign is urging Conservative Education Secretary Michael Gove to include RE in the English baccalaureate as a humanities option.

The campaigners said that he had ruled it out in favour of history and geography.

They also said that before the election David Cameron promised that any petition attracting more than 100,000 signatures would be debated in the House of Commons.

The RE.ACT campaigners believe that, with 140,000 signatures, theirs could be the first petition to debated on the basis of the Prime Minister’s pledge.

Dr Lucas signed a parliamentary equivalent of the petition – an early day motion – calling for RE to be made a core subject in the English baccalaureate.

She previously supported a similar motion calling for the requirement for a compulsory daily act of worship in schools to be scrapped.

She drew a distinction between religious education and religious worship.

At the 2001 census Brighton and Hove emerged as the least religious place in the country although it had the highest number of people declaring themselves to be jedis.

Yet Cardinal Newman Catholic School, with more than 2,000 pupils, is also one of the most popular schools in the city.

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