My particular focus was on the need for inclusive religious education arguing that all children should learn about the full range of faiths and belief systems in Britain - not just one or none - by adding Religious Education to the National Curriculum.
At the press conference I said:
"We propose that Religious Education is added to the National Curriculum. We live in a diverse and multi-religious society and it is imperative that all children learn about the full range of faith and belief systems in Britain. It is so easy for stereotypes to build up about the beliefs of others which, of course, do not reflect the complexities and diversity within faith groups as well as between them. In referring to faith and belief systems this should include the range of non-religious belief systems.
Many schools provide excellent RE, including some faith schools, however, RE in others is narrow in scope and/or is instructional. Academy schools and most faith schools are able to determine for themselves the RE they teach which can lead to pupils not receiving broad and balanced religious education.
The relationship between religious freedom, culture and ethnicity and indeed politics requires knowledge of religion to ensure an understanding of a digital world where events in seemingly far-off countries can through the internet and social media be on our mobile phones and laptops.
As well as learning about religion it is also important that children learn from religion. That they make connections between what they learn in class and their own lives as part of their spiritual and moral development. Effective religious education can open up possibilities for all children."
Pictured at the event
back row from left: Derek McAuley, Rev Richard Bentley (CoE), Simon Barrow (Ekklesia).
front row from left: Jonathan Bartley (Ekklesia), Symon Hill (Quaker), Rabbi Jonathan Romain, Martin Prendergast (Centre for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality)