The 2010 A Level and GCSE results season has now been and gone. The number of candidates taking religious studies at both levels has steadily risen over the years (see http://www.brin.ac.uk/figures/#RSExams), but how worthwhile do Britons as a whole think the subject is?
YouGov released some pertinent data on 25 August. In an online poll conducted on 1-2 July 2010, the company asked a representative sample of 2,233 adults aged 18 and over how important they thought it was for all British schoolchildren to study each of 21 different subjects.
When it came to religious education, 37% of respondents deemed the subject important and 31% unimportant, with 29% neutral and 3% don’t knows. Sixteen subjects were judged more important than religious education, particularly mathematics (95%), English language (94%), IT/computing (91%) and science (90%). Just four subjects received a lower rating: German (31%), Spanish (30%), drama (25%) and Latin (12%).
No sub-group recorded an absolute majority saying that religious education was important, but there were some demographic variations. Those most likely to think the subject was important were Conservative voters (41%), women (40%), adults aged 60 and over (42%) and Londoners (43%).
For the complete data tabulations, see: