"Learning to Listen" report

The “Learning to Listen” report from the APPG on Religion in the Media this week, draws attention to the importance of education in religion and worldviews.

If we want religiously literate journalists; with an understanding of diversity of religious and non-religious worldviews, the learning needs to start in schools. The problem is, the subject is being neglected and needs the government to take action in the form of a National Plan for Religious Education in schools.

As Professor Chris Frost states in the report, ‘Religious literacy is, or should be, taught in schools and so many reporters get their basic knowledge at this level.’ However, the all-party group note: “Several submissions questioned whether this duty is being fulfilled. Dr Paul Smalley highlighted a 2019 NATRE survey which found that “At Key Stage 4 almost 40% of community and 50% of Academy schools without a religious character do not meet their legal or contractual requirements for RE”

Katie Freeman, Chair of the National Association of Teachers of RE said, “Understanding people and their unique perspective on the world is a vital skill for us all, especially young people. Good religious education plays a vital role in that, helping create a more cohesive society, ensures young people receive a balanced education, and supports a vibrant economy by preparing employees and future business leaders for the globalised workplace and that includes roles in the media”