Conference encourages pupils to probe why Ethics Matters

Religious education in schools is vital to the wellbeing of our community, according to leading commentator Peter Vardy, speaking at a conference at St Peter’s.

Dr Vardy was leading a conference on ethics for Sixth Form pupils from schools across the region. Aimed at young people studying Ethics for Religious Studies, Philosophy or Theory of Knowledge, the conference examined the topics of ethics and morality in relations to topics as diverse as global economics and abortion.  The event at St Peter’s is the first in a series of conferences taking place across the UK, and attracted more than a hundred pupils from a number of schools.

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Dr Vardy said: “Good religious and values education is absolutely essential to education today.  We need scientists who are really well trained at school and informed ethically as well.  We need business leaders who can create economic prosperity but are also driven by ethical considerations.  We’ve had too much experience recently of business leaders who are driven by the search for profit without any question of ethics and the decision by the secretary of state for education Michael Gove to marginalise religious and values education is a tragedy.

“It’s essential to try and understand people of different traditions, and also to try and help our young people understand how to live in the future. 

St Peter’s takes this area very seriously and the decision of some schools to marginalise it is highly regrettable.”

Head Master of St Peter’s, Leo Winkley, added: “Properly understood and promoted, Religious Education is a dynamic academic discipline through which youngsters develop as thinkers and as people.

Surely, that is at the very heart of a good education.  If our youngsters grow up illiterate in this most vital of areas, how can we expect them to talk – and listen – to one another on matters of faith and belief?”

The conference also marks the launch of “Ethics Matters”, a new book by Dr Vardy and Charlotte Vardy.

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