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More GCSE students taking Religious Studies

02/09/2016 Joanna

This year marked the highest number of GCSE entries for Religious Studies since 2002, which has been praised by the Religious Education Council of England and Wales.

284,057 students sat the Religious Studies GCSE in 2016, which is an increase of 0.1 per cent from the previous year, even though the subject has been excluded from the Ebacc performance measure.

Despite this, the amount of students sitting the GCSE Religious Studies short course has gone down. Just 71,299 students took the exam this year, which was a decrease of 17.7 per cent from 2015. 

According to Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, chief executive of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales, this actually means that 100,000 fewer people have studied the subject this year than in 2010.

"It is dangerous for there to be increasing numbers of young people missing the opportunity to develop their understanding of the full diversity of faiths and beliefs," he stated.

He is now urging schools and educators to consider the implications of less students having a solid religious education.

Mr Lockhart went on to say that: "It is fantastic to see increasing numbers of students opting to take the full course GCSE in Religious Studies, a reflection of the attraction of an academically rigorous subject that helps prepare students to understand an increasingly diverse modern world."

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