Tag Archives: RE review

The RE APPG Reports its Findings

After a twelve month enquiry, the RE APPG recently released its findings on the state of RE in schools today. The report makes for very sorry reading, but reinforces what most in the RE world already knew: That RE is being undervalued and undermined. It’s being squeezed out of the timetable, funding is being reduced and children are being given a bad deal.

  • Over 50% of those teaching RE in secondary schools have no qualification or relevant expertise in the subject
  • A quarter of all primary schools that responded said the lesson was given by a teaching assistant
  • Primary and primary trainee teachers lack confidence and expertise in teaching RE, especially in diverse and multi-cultural classrooms
  • Support for RE teachers at a local level has been dramatically reduced by local authority funding cuts and the academies programme
  • Bursaries for RE trainees have been removed and there has been a radical reduction in applicant numbers for 2013/14
  • Because of this lack of training and support many of those teaching RE are unable to meet the Department for Education’s Teaching Standards, selling young people short in their schools.

This makes for very sorry reading. Whatever you think about the place of RE in the curriculum, it is currently there and young people study it. Why not give it appropriate funding, time and training for it to be of real benefit to those who study it. Imagine if it did and received the best training and teachers. The possibilities are endless!

I think it’ll be interesting to see how the RE Review responds and the recommendations it makes to take RE forward. And then we just need Gove to join us all in 2013 and accept the recommendations!

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The RE Review

Religious Education has taken a bit of a battering over recent years. It is very clear that Gove does not want to find a place for it in the modern British Education system. Despite this, the RE community isn’t going to go quietly. From NATRE and the Culham Institute to the Save RE Group on Facebook, the RE community is very alive and shouting their point of view from the rooftops. They are fighting their cause from every corner possible, from writing letters to Gove and Clegg to setting up this review, supporters of RE are reinforcing the fact that good RE is an essential part of the curriculum. As it wasn’t included in Gove’s review of the National Curriculum, the RE Council is undertaking its own review. It is being run by Dr Janet Orchard and it has been broken down into 4 phases, starting with setting up a panel of expert witnesses. Members of the Phase One Expert Panel are:
Bill Gent, Karen Walshe, Lat Blaylock, Julian Stern with Janet Orchard (Project Manager) and Sarah Smalley (REC Executive Support Officer).

The aim of the review is to:

  • Analyse the current strengths and weaknesses of RE
  • Consider the impact of current Government policies on RE
  • Establish a ‘Case’ for RE
  • Refocus the RE curriculum
  • Promote exemplars of good practice in RE
  • A way forward for qualifications in RE
  • Secure the national/local balance of responsibility for RE
  • Identify and resolve further emerging issues

In order to achieve this, the REC is aiming to draw upon its very wide-ranging membership to make the review as inclusive as possible. It’s inviting everyone in the RE community and beyond to have a say on what Phase One has established so far. The consultation is from 12th November until 7th December. So make sure that you get involved and have your say about RE. The Phase 1 report can be found here on the REC’s website.

For More Information:
In order to maximise the consultation phase, the RE Council has created a hash tag, #REReview, to use on Twitter. This is a great way to be able to add your thoughts to the process and see what other people think. Updates about the Review is also included in the RE Council’s monthly newsletter, summarising the latest news, and the RE Review also has its own newsletter, which explains the developments in the review in more detail and this can be found on the REC website.

To find out more information, have your say and to get the latest updates on the RE Review, click on the images below to get to the RE Council website, Facebook page and Twitter timeline.

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