This study traces the development of religious education in England and Wales in the half century to 1994. It starts with the Butler Act of 1944 and ends with the DFE Circular of 1994, which was issued to take further the RE provision in the 1988 Education Reform Act. The text sets the changes in religious education against changes in education as a whole and changes in society. The complex interaction between and influence of religious thinkers, religious educators and politicians, is explored, as is the suggestion that how we handle religion within the national education system can offer insights into our society. The appendices include a summary of an interview with Kenneth Baker, former Secretary of State for Education, and architect of the 1988 Act.