Surge in graduates who want to teach religious education

The Times is reporting that a campaign from the Religious Education Council has been successful in generating a rise of nearly a third in the number of applicants to teach religious education.

The paper reports an analysis of the latest teacher training figures which shows applicants to teach RE are up from 650 last year to 850 for those intending to start this autumn, against a fall in overall applications for secondary teaching places of 0.8%.

Last year RE was second from bottom in a list of subjects ranked on the percentage of the required numbers training, but the Religious Education Council is claiming its “beyond the ordinary” campaign has made a significant difference. 

The campaign aimed to show the rewarding nature of teaching RE as well as the availability of tax-free bursaries to cover training costs.

Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, chief executive of the council, is quoted:

“These new figures are very encouraging. Great RE teachers help our young people make sense of their world by encouraging them to critically assess the issues that lead the headlines every day, making it as exciting to teach as it is to study.”

The Times also notes that A-level and GCSE entries in the subject have been on the rise but are now seen under threat from a potential squeeze on subjects not included in the EBacc.

More at: Surge in graduates who want to teach religious education (subscription may be required)


Applications to teach RE certainly seem to be bucking the general trend so would you agree the campaign from the Religious Education Council made the difference and, if so, are there lessons for other subjects here too?

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