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British Parents Removing Children from Lessons on Islam, Report Finds

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 28: Children wave their hands at a private nursery school January 28, 2005 in Glasgow, Scotland. The average price of pre-school care has increased over the past year, sending child care prices to an average of GBP200 in parts of the southeast. Many working parents in …
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VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

A report that found that parents in Essex are removing their children from Religion Education (RE) lessons on Islam and school trips to mosques.

The Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) has found that parents in Thurrock, South-East England, “have objected to the teaching of Islam and withdrawn children from lessons and visits to places of worship,” the Thurrock Gazette reports.

SACRE, which recommends the teaching of religion in schools, said that it would need to launch an investigation into how many parents are pulling their children from aspects of religious education teaching.

“The outcome for those children, who arguably are those that most need to be taught about Islam, are no longer being taught about it,” the report continued.

“It is not clear whether or not this is a widespread issue in Thurrock, but it is clear that SACRE needs to investigate.

“Schools have a statutory duty to promote community cohesion.”

Religious education, where children are taught about world religions and sometimes ethics, is compulsory in all state-funded schools, but parents reserve the right to pull their children from all or parts of the lessons.

In 2017, the Church of England called for the right of parents to pull their children out of RE classes to be banned, complaining that “fundamentalist” parents were “abusing” the option and that it could result in the right being hijacked by those who want to “incite religious hatred”.

Currently, parents can also withdraw their children from some parts of sex education classes, but the parts related to or taught in science class are compulsory.

From 2020, all schools, including faith schools, will be forced to teach sex and relationship education, with classes possibly including lessons on online pornography, sexual harrassment, gender identity, and same-sex relationships.

A prominent Jewish group has warned this week that thousands of Jewish families may leave Britain if their faith schools are forced to teach about LGBT lifestyles, as it conflicts with religious teachings on sexual morality.

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