By Joanna Moorhead, Guardian
As the government plans to reform RE teaching, we asked professionals and parents what they would like to see taught in religious education in schools
Stephen Lloyd MP, Eastbourne and Willingdon
RE is falling off the curriculum, and we need to get it back on. What has happened is that because it wasn't included in the Ebacc subjects, it has been sidelined. And the thing is, RE really does matter: children need to understand faith issues and the different religious traditions, and if they don't, the consequences could be very serious. I'm chairing a new all-party parliamentary group on religious education and we're currently conducting an inquiry into the teaching of RE in this country – and I can tell you that our report will be hard-hitting, because RE needs to be properly taught.
Rosemary Rivett, National Association of Teachers of RE
RE is meaningful in any society where beliefs and values are important: it's about getting pupils to engage with the big questions of life. Over the last few decades, RE has been built up into an important and rigorous subject – and what is shocking is how quickly it has been marginalised, because of all the changes going on in education. We've got to ensure that it continues to be taught in all schools, and also that it is taught by specialist teachers.
Lesley Prior, senior lecturer in religious education at the University of Roehampton
When you ask children what they think about RE, they say they like it because it's the one lesson that's about what they think, rather than what they know. I don't think it should be about filling children with facts and figures – it should give them a chance to engage with the big questions of life, such as 'how did the world begin, and what happens after we die'? I think we're moving towards this inquiry-based approach to RE – and the Ofsted report on the subject, which is out soon, is likely to advocate that.