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Students challenge MPs with fresh ideas on RE

Posted on: July 20th 2016

Rs3 smallTwo of the RS Ambassadors from Amery Hill, Alf Hamer and Monty Moran, joined over 60 more students from across England at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 13th July for the inaugural Youth Debate on the role of religious education in schools.

They were welcomed to Westminster by Mary Glindon MP and comedian, writer and actress Sara Pascoe. 

The students were accompanied by Head of RS at Amery Hill Mrs Esther Keen and specialist RS teacher Mr Steve Gerlach for the debate itself but the only voices heard were the students’ and guest delegates’, comprising politicians and educationalists. 

Mrs Keen said, “Issues relating to RE are never far from the news headlines. It’s a great subject for a varied and heated debate, and our students presented their views eloquently and robustly, sharing their own ideas and being challenged by the different opinions and experiences of other young British people. They were really open to being exposed to fresh thinking and represented our school with real passion.”

Students debated topics as diverse as the role of religious literacy in combatting extremism, the secularisation of schools, and the responsibility of society, through schools, to expose young people to the widest range of opinions, issues and learning.

While at the Houses of Parliament, the students had the chance to meet local MP, Mr Damian Hinds, and to share their own thinking on the importance and relevance of RE in a modern society.

The debate was staged by the Religious Education Council for England and Wales (REC), of which the Amery Hill students are members, and the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE).

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Students with Mr Damian Hinds, MP

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