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RE "edged out" of the school curriculum

RE "edged out" of the school curriculum

Monday, 09 December 2013

A survey shows a quarter of schools are failing to offer RE to GCSE pupils. What can time and resource-pressed schools do to boost RE teaching?

The National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE) surveyed teachers at 580 schools and found that 26 per cent were offering little or no Religious Education to pupils aged 14-16.

The survey states that a third of state community schools are not meeting their legal duty to offer RE to GCSE pupils. The lowest level of RE provision found was in academies, without a religious character, with 35% reporting a failure to meet legal requirements for RE at key stage 4.

There has also been a cut in specialist teaching, the survey suggests. One in five non-church schools and academies reported a reduction in the number of staff qualified to teach RE, and many RE lessons are taught by teachers who have timetable gaps rather than expertise in the subject.

Ed Pawson, The chairman of NATRE, said that the findings proved the admission earlier this year by Michael Gove, that RE had been an unintended casualty of his education reforms. "The EBacc has edged RE out of the school curriculum, and pupils are losing out on valuable education about the world's faith and belief systems," he said.

What can schools do to enhance their RE provision?

There’s clearly a call for additional time and resources to be devoted to RE, but there’s also a drive to make the subject more balanced and relevant to modern society.

The National Secular Society believes that pupils should be equipped with a good understanding of a range of faith perspectives and world religions, plus non-religious beliefs and secular ethics.

vision2learn for schools online GCSE Religious Studies B resource supports the study of philosophy and ethics in relation to Christianity and Islam. Designed to encourage pupils to think about real-life issues, it will help to develop skills in analysing and evaluating a wide range of worldviews.

Students learn how to explain key philosophical and ethical ideas, form insights and express their views about fundamental questions and issues, including science and religion, medical ethics and human relationships.

vision2learn for schools Religious Studies B GCSE resource can be used by any pupil at Key Stage 3 or 4 studying for GCSEs or other qualifications. Activities, case studies and thought-provoking questions help students develop their critical thinking and debating skills.

Our online RS resource means that even with lack of time and reductions in specialist Religious Education teachers, schools can still deliver high quality, well-rounded teaching in the subject.

If you’d like to see a free demo of our Religious Studies B resource either online or in person please get in touch.

You can also find us at BETT Stand F354

What do you think - should RE have a broader ethical and philosophical slant? Should it be part of the National Curriculum?

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