Teachers worry about giving RE lessons, says the religious adviser for Cambridgeshire schools

More training in RE needed for teachers, says a religious adviser

More training in RE needed for teachers, says a religious adviser - Credit: Archant

Teachers are not trained to deal with RE lessons and worry they may offend children’s different faiths. according to the adviser for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire schools.

Timetable pressures means the subject is pushed to one side and preparation time is put into more pressing needs, says Sue Ward, who says she gets daily emails and phone calls from teachers asking for help.

RE lessons in primary schools are “poor or inadequate”, according to an Ofsted report from 2013.

Ms Pace said teachers: “do not have the relevant in depth knowledge to teach the subject adequately,.

“They are worried they could offend someone of faith by saying something inaccurate. They fear reactions from parents.

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“Our pupils deserve deeper knowledge and understanding of religions to make sense of the world, and to be encouraged to develop their own thinking about religions and important questions of the meaning and purpose of life,” she said.

Ms Ward, religious education adviser for Cambridgeshire County Council, said there was not enough training for the complexity of the subject.

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“At best there is a half day devoted to prepare teachers in the primary schools, though many primary teachers have told me they had nothing on their training course,” she said.

RE is statutory for all pupils from five years to 18 years and primary teachers must include lessons on all the major religions in modern Britain including humanism and atheism.

Ms Ward said: “The pace of change in education over the last two years has been relentless, with little time for teachers to consolidate anything before another initiative or requirement is laid in front of them.

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