|PIC1|The increase in the number of students taking the religious studies A-level indicates the extent to which young people regard faith as an important part of their lives, says the Church of England.
More than 20,100 students will open envelopes for religious studies A-level today, marking a 5.9 per cent increase on last year. Eighty-one per cent of those students will achieve A-C grades.
The number of students opting for the religious studies A-level has grown year-on-year for the last five years.
Nick McKemey, the Church of England's Head of School Improvement, said the steady increase in the number of students taking religious studies "demonstrates that students appreciate the importance of faith in today's society."
"These figures present a significant challenge to those who would present modern society as wholly secular," he said.
"Young people are choosing to study subjects which show that faith is a vital force, both in their own lives and in developing a fuller understanding of the wider world."
The number of A-level top grades and high passes sent out today is expected to continue a 20-year rise that has critics asking whether subjects have become easier or whether a more competitive environment is making students work harder to achieve the best grades.
The Church of England has published special prayers for students receiving exam results this summer and weighing up their options.
The prayers include:
We thank you that you love us
Whatever qualifications we hold, or whatever path we take.
Help us, wherever we can,
To follow in the footsteps of your son,
Lord, we cannot always make sense of what is happening to us. Help us to trust you, help us to have big ideas and help us to rely to you to make them happen.
For more prayers, go to www.cofe.anglican.org/prayers/#exams
CofE: Rise in religious studies A-levels reveals importance of faith
Published 14 August 2008