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Sep 21

Interim report from the Commission on RE (CORE)

Posted by: Marketing Team, 21 September 2017

NATRE are pleased to note that CORE has produced a substantial Interim Report of their work. This uses much evidence from the State of the Nation report, published by the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE), the Religious Education Council and RE Today on 18 September. The report shows that the commission share NATRE’s concern over the number of state secondary schools struggling to meet their legal requirement to deliver RE.  NATRE and the REC are calling for the Government to make a clear public statement that it is not acceptable for a school to provide no RE and to review how provision is benchmarked.

We are pleased that the commission has called for more evidence and comment as a result of this report. We would like to encourage all our members to send comments and further evidence to CORE. The report notes that the commission need more evidence on RE in primary schools and we hope that our members will be able to engage with the commission on this. One of the commissioners will be taking part in our #REchatUK on Monday 6 November 8-9pm.

Daniel Hugill, Chair, NATRE comments:

‘NATRE welcome the publication of the Interim Report ‘Religious Education for All’ from the Commission on Religious Education. We are pleased that the Commission has made clear recommendations and that further consultation will follow. We would encourage all teachers of RE to engage with the report…

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Sep 21

800,000 secondary pupils lose out on religious literacy

Posted by: Marketing Team, 21 September 2017

New analysis of the Government’s School Workforce Census reveals that more than one in four (28%)[1] state secondary schools are struggling to meet their legal obligation to teach pupils about major religions and systems of belief, depriving teenagers of vital knowledge about different faiths and beliefs in community, public and world affairs.

All state-funded schools, including academies and free schools, are legally required by the 1998 School Standards and Framework Act to provide Religious Education as part of a balanced curriculum.

The analysis of Government figures prompted the Religious Education Council and the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) to create a new State of the Nation report. The report includes data from the School Workforce Census and GCSE figures, as well as survey responses from 790 secondary schools. The research found that:

  • 25% of all schools surveyed said a weekly RE lesson to ensure pupils understand different religions and beliefs is not available. In academies and free schools, where RE is determined as part of the funding agreement, this figure rose to 34% for 11 to 13 year olds, and 44% for 14 to 16 year olds. Four per cent of schools with a religious character do not offer a weekly lesson.
  • RE also receives the lowest level of teaching time in academies and free schools. A majority (56%) dedicate less than 3% of their timetables (around 40 minutes) to RE; this low level of RE is only found in a third of schools where a locally…

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Aug 24

26 short films for 11-14s in the ‘A-Z of Religion’

Posted by: Marketing Team, 24 August 2017

New RE programmes from BBC for 11-14s

BBC have made new secondary RE programmes to address both a gap in current teacher resource provision and also to respond to teachers’ feedback about the type of resources they need to deliver RE. The secondary programmes are an A-Z of world religions and belief, covering subjects as diverse as religious clothing, extremism, the distribution of wealth and more philosophical themes.

Teachers will value these new RE resources: there is a wide representation of the UK’s different faith groups. They have had input from faith leaders and teachers during the production process to ensure they will be of maximum benefit in the classroom and meet the different curriculum requirements of RE teaching. The programming will enable some fun RE. The secondary clips use a contemporary animation style, and a light tone to cover some deep stuff. think the chosen subject matter will provide a great springboard to learning about different faiths and beliefs, as well as a stimulus for engaging classroom debate.

These new films are now available on BBC Teach.

Lat Blaylock, RE Today Adviser has been involved as a consultant in making the series, he comments:

‘I’m really glad BBC have made these new programmes, and hope teachers will use them widely. I’m pleased with the content and style. We are currently making 26 lesson ideas, so watch this space. You could use them for a whole term’s homework of…

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The key outcomes of the 2017 A level results in England and Wales for Religious Education are as follows:

  • 23,856 RS A level entries were recorded, a small decrease of 4.0% on 2016. Much of this decrease is explained by a decrease in the number of 18-year-olds in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland of 1.7%
  • Despite the decrease in entries for RS, there are still more than double the number in 2003 (11,132 entries were recorded in 2003)
  • The increase of 114% in the number of entries for RS A level since 2003 is greater than for any arts, humanity or social science subject (the nearest subject is Political Studies with an increase of 90%). Among all subjects, only Further Maths has seen more rapid growth than RS
  • 3% of entries for RS A level were awarded an A or an A*
  • There were 16,308 entries for RS at AS level, a decrease of 54% on 2016; this reflects the decline across all subjects where the number of AS entries fell by 40% across England and Wales. Despite the drop there are still more entries than in 2003 (15,482 entries were recorded in 2003)
  • The importance of RS A Level as a subject for Higher Education entry and for graduate recruiters is increasingly recognised by independent bodies. The Russell Group of top universities has made it clear that RS A level provides ‘suitable preparation for University generally’, and both Oxford and Cambridge University include Religious Studies in the top…

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Jul 31

Government consultation response: Implementing the English Baccalaureate

Posted by: Marketing Team, 31 July 2017

NATRE notes the long awaited response to the Government consultation on the English Baccalaureate. We are well aware that the introduction of the English Baccalaureate and the change in accountability measures in secondary schools has resulted in many more pupils not receiving their statutory entitlement to RE at Key Stage 4. However we were pleased to read in paragraph 72 of the Government Response to the Consultation on the EBacc, a reminder to schools that RE must be taught to all pupils until the end of key stage 5 and that a qualification such as GCSE SHOULD be offered at the end of key stage 4.
NATRE looks forward to continuing to work with the Department for Education and its ministers to ensure that school accountability measures including performance tables and inspections are soon in place that have the effect that this expectation is met in all state funded schools.
Fiona Moss, Executive Officer NATRE.

Despite what the government continually says in answers to questions in parliament and in this response, NATRE know that there are a large number of pupils who do not receive their entitlement to RE and therefore are not religiously literate. It is essential that pupils in 2017 are prepared for the modern world, religious literacy is an indisputable part of this. There is much more that the DFE can do and we look forward to working…

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