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Paganism to be Taught in Cornish Schools

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7:01am 17th April 2012

Pirate FM has learnt the newest lesson on the timetable for Cornish schoolchildren is Paganism.

Beliefs including ancient Saints, druids and witchcraft are being put on the Duchy's curriculum for Religious Education classes. It is thought to be the first time it has happened in the UK.

Critics are worried it will mean less time is spent on bigger religions.

Fiona MacDonald from the Pagan Federation in Cornwall said, "I think it's very important because there is a lot of misinformation around Paganism. Hopefully this will start kids understanding what is Paganism and what isn't Paganism. A lot of the silly things you read in the press, it's just pathetic.

"I have no idea how many Pagans there are in Cornwall but we are a very broad spectrum of the population. I think it's appropriate we should be recognised at this level. I hesitate to call us a religion but we are certainly a faith."

David Hampshire from Cornwall Council was involved in the decision to add it to RE lessons. He said, "In terms of popular culture, whether that's Harry Potter, this is part of the language of young people. The very fact you can go to Waterstone's in Truro and buy a book of spells for teenage witches, I think it would be wrong not to comment on that.

"If you walk around Camborne, if you go to Penzance or Callington there are shops where you can buy Pagan things. What's it doing there? If we're going to engage young people in Religious Education it seems to me there are good questions to be asking."

7:01am 17th April 2012

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