LETTER : Continuing value of religious education in our schools

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From The Rev Canon John Goodchild

Sir: To cut religion from the classroom ("Keep God out of the classrooms", 14 February) would limit the curriculum to mathematics. Literature and history are riddled with religion and the human sciences with value judgements. Fundamentalist groups have their own theories about the natural world.

What pupils need is help to recognise religion where it is implicit and to develop their own lifestyle. Schools should provide information about popular religious beliefs to help people relate in a pluralistic society; encourage critical thinking about religious beliefs and practices rather than suggesting all religions are equally valid and allow space for pupils to develop their own spirituality - perhaps with a daily time of collective silence.

Yours sincerely,

John Goodchild