School and government performance on religious education failing record number of students, says landmark data review
Neglecting RE leaves ‘gaping hole in the school curriculum’, says Father of the House Sir…
A new campaign to encourage graduates and career changers to train as RE teachers is launched today by the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC).
The Beyond the Ordinary campaign will highlight the benefits of a career in RE teaching and raise awareness of the reintroduction of bursaries available to cover training costs. The campaign is the first to specifically target trainee RE teachers and is being funded by donations from charitable trusts*.
817 Initial Teacher Training places are available for RE from September 2015. Successful candidates will be eligible to receive training bursaries of £9,000 per year (for a 1st class degree or PhD) or £4,000 per year (for a 2:1) after the funding was introduced by the Department for Education for trainee RE teachers last year.
The centrepiece of the campaign is a three minute video which looks at the experiences of RE teacher Lynsey Wilkinson and her students from Redhill Academy near Nottingham. It presents RE teaching as a career that is far from ordinary, and communicates the breadth and diversity of RE in schools today.
Social media, direct marketing via UCAS, and links with universities and training providers will be used to reach potential candidates.
Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, Chief Executive Officer of the REC, said:
“There is a growing need for qualified specialist RE teachers in our schools so now is great time to enter the profession. Increasing religious literacy is extremely important in today’s society. Issues of religion and belief frequently top the news agenda and helping students make sense of them is immensely rewarding and intellectually stimulating.
“No other career gives people the opportunity to tackle the big questions in life and to explore the impact of faith and belief on people’s lives like RE teaching.”
Campaign lead Kathryn Wright, director of the Teach RE course at Culham St Gabriel’s Trust, added:
“RE teachers come from all walks of life, from postgraduates with relevant degrees to career changers looking for a new challenge. A teacher trainee coming to RE as a second or third job tends to be looking for a subject that will offer a challenge, draw on their life skills and is different and more stimulating than what they are used to.
“This campaign is intended to capture the interest and imagination of those who may have considered teaching, but may not have necessarily thought about a career as a RE teacher.”
RE remains an extremely popular subject among students. Entries to the full course GSCE have risen 19 per cent since 2012 and the subject has the largest number of entries after English, Maths and Sciences. A level entries have also increased more than any arts, humanity or social science subject over the past 10 years and RE is recognised by leading universities as a useful entry point for arts and science degrees.
25 March 2015
Notes to editors:
*Beyond the Ordinary is being led by the Religious Education Council and is funded by the Culham St Gabriel’s Trust, the Jerusalem Trust and the St Christopher’s Trust, with support from the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) and the Association of University Lecturers in Religion and Education (AULRE).
Campaign assets for media use include photography and a short film:
Colin Hallmark / Harriet Johnson, 3:nine Communications
Tel: 0207 736 1888