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Religious education

January 2013

Religious education

Teachers across England are struggling to deliver quality Religious Education (RE) lessons, a poll from Oxford University has found. RE has already been excluded from the English Baccalaureate, along with arts and creative disciplines, and already state-maintained schools are reporting a decline in RE provision.
    According to the survey, nearly two-thirds, 64 per cent, of adults say the teaching of Christianity to pupils is essential. Some 37 per cent thought RE teachers didn’t know enough about the subject to teach it effectively, describing lessons as ‘incoherent’ and ‘stereotypical’.
    The majority of those surveyed believed that teaching about the major Christian festivals of Easter and Christmas and Christian values is vital. According to the poll, many also wanted to see the teaching of Bible stories as a key element in RE lessons.
    This followed a survey carried out by the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE), which found that one in 10 RE lessons are delivered by teachers untrained in the subject.
    The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education will, on 16 January, look at how teachers are trained to teach the subject. The session is being held ahead of publishing a report on the needs and necessity of RE in the national curriculum. More information from: www.religiouseducationcouncil.org

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