New figures show an increase in the number of pupils taking Religious Studies at both GCSE and A level.

Entries to Religious Studies GCSE have jumped to their highest level since 2002.

The rise has come despite the subject’s exclusion from the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), a government measure of school performance.

It is compulsory for schools to offer Religious Education for pupils aged up to 16 but it is not compulsory for students to take a GCSE in it.

Three years ago the then Education Secretary Michael Gove, said Religious Education had been an “unintended casualty” of his reforms. He said he would try to work with churches and other religious groups to raise standards in the subject.

This year the number of A level entries has also increased, with a rise of 6.8 per cent com­pared with 2015.

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