Bill Wiggin MP pledged his support for high quality Religious Education (RE) in schools at an event in Parliament.

Bill Wiggin MP for North Herefordshire learnt more about the work of the Religious Education Council’s patrons and young RE ambassadors at the event arranged by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Religious Education on Tuesday 27 January.

Religious Educ - Bill with school kids 27.1.15

Bill Wiggin MP said: “RE teachers across North Herefordshire are doing an excellent job in ensuring our young people grow up developing knowledge and skills that will equip them to tackle many of life’s challenges.

I’m very pleased to pledge my support for RE in schools and help draw attention to its cause.”

Patron and comedian Sara Pascoe joined MPs at the event alongside a group of young secondary school ambassadors and teacher Dennis Johnson from St Bede’s Inter-Church School in Cambridge.

She said: “It is fascinating to work with RE students to unpick and debate some of the big issues that surround such an important subject.  It is great to see teenagers stand up and address politicians about a school subject they feel passionately about.  Educating secondary school students about empathy, compassion and tolerance is an important tool in preventing extremism and helping schools teach better RE can only nurture a more understanding view of the world.”

MPs from across the main parties support RE in schools.  A recent APPG inquiry have found that high quality RE can play a key role in helping young people make sense of the diverse world around them. In recent months, greater recognition has been given to RE. Religious Studies GCSE entry figures show that it remains a popular subject choice and in September the Government announced that it was reinstating bursaries for trainee RE teachers.

Since its formation in 2012, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Religious Education has received significant cross-party support.  In schools RE is a popular, highly-valued and academically rigorous subject. It has never been more relevant and beneficial than today as it helps improve understanding of religions and beliefs and engages young people in topical subject matter. The APPG helps ensure a clear, positive and current view of Religious Education is heard, both inside and outside Parliament.