Head: Nicky Morgan’s Trojan Horse curriculum ‘could lead to collapse of Religious studies’

The Telegraph is reporting warnings from a leading head that a new school curriculum ordered by Nicky Morgan after the Trojan Horse scandal could lead to a plunge in the numbers of pupils taking Religious Studies…

Fiona Boulton, head of Guildford High School in Surrey, one of the UK’s most academically successful schools, said there was increasing “distress” among teachers about the new GCSE course which could dramatically reduce the opportunity for pupils to engage in moral and ethical debates.

Under draft plans announced before Christmas, teenagers who take RS for GCSE will have to study two world religions for the first time in an overhaul intended to increase “religious literacy”…

Mrs Boulton said there is now growing concern for the future of the subject as a result of the changes.

“My biggest fear is that we will have a drop in numbers for what at the moment we perceive to be an exciting subject and we will lose those numbers as it becomes a very dry and introspective subject,” she said.

“We don’t know if they realise the implications of their decision-making

“At this stage I’m not really sure many people are aware of what is happening but within the Religious Studies teaching community the distress is there.”

She added that making changes to GCSEs and A-levels – where RS is an optional subject – rather than focusing efforts on compulsory Religious Education classes for younger children, could ultimately defeat the Government’s aim of improving religious literacy.

“Of course there was a problem with the Trojan Horse issue but I don’t think this is the way to tackle it,” she said…

Mrs Boulton’s comments were supported by an unlikely alliance of secularists and faith leaders…


Is Fiona Boulton raising a valid concern here? Do you also fear the changes introduced to Religious Studies may result in the subject becoming less popular? Why in particular? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove will students get 2 pick the 2 religions? My guess the school will choose for the whole year group

  2. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove they will pick their own and something like Buddhism, so it doesn’t increase understanding of other major religions

  3. FionaTipper

    SchoolsImprove in our school it was made compulsory at GCSE as nobody ever picked it. Speaks volumes and irritates me every day.

  4. MrCregan

    SchoolsImprove #educhat – Changing the GCSE to a dry learning about, instead of learning from that kids love will be very damaging.

  5. HughdjNicklin

    SchoolsImprove Once admit guiding role of sky fairy, it’s hard to take a stand against those the SF is telling to cut people’s heads off.

  6. zudensachen

    SchoolsImprove j_wright_83 although if schools are delivering good compulsory RE, it’s not really a problem if the GCSE dwindles or goes

  7. birch_david

    zudensachen SchoolsImprove j_wright_83 Is GCSE RE not valuable as an academic subject in its own right? Progression to A Level and HE?

  8. zudensachen

    birch_david SchoolsImprove j_wright_83 yes, but that just needs a disciplinary identity, not to be inc. into community cohesion

  9. allcobblers

    FionaTipper SchoolsImprove In our school it was most popular subject at A’Level, 60 students, brilliant when it’s well taught

  10. MsGreenEngTeach

    SchoolsImprove sad news! RE has the capacity to help develop the ‘whole child’ & guide them morally. Cultural awareness is essential too!

  11. MsGreenEngTeach

    SchoolsImprove However, I have found that RE is taught more creatively & is more popular in schools that have no religious denomination!

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