London, June 7 (ANI): British schools have been accused of ignoring the views of their Christian pupils while paying careful attention to children of other faiths.
According to Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, teachers are failing to educate children in the core beliefs of Christianity, ignoring their legal obligation to do so.
The Times quoted the Ofsted report, as saying that stories from the Bible are often used simply to teach children about their feelings or about how to empathise with the sick, but their religious significance is neglected.
The inspectorate finds there has been a sharp decline in the quality of religious teaching, particularly in secondary schools, over the past three years.
"Insufficient attention was paid to ... pupils who were actively engaged in Christian practice," the report notes.
Critics argue that too many teachers are both ignorant and embarrassed about Christianity and are frightened of causing tension in multi-faith schools.
However, supporters of the approach identified by Ofsted argue that teachers are simply reflecting the secular views prevalent in society.
Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, said: "There is generally in the culture a kind of embarrassment about talking openly about Christianity that doesn't apply to other faiths."
He warned that teachers were in danger of presenting religions as a "smorgasbord of interesting rituals and feasts".
The report says: "There is an urgent need to review the way the subject is supported." It adds:
"In the sample of primary schools ... not enough [religious education] was of good quality. The quality of RE in the secondary schools visited was worse than in the schools involved in the 2007 survey." (ANI)