The BBC has reported an Ofsted report on the teaching of RE in secondary schools, which describes it as “inadequate” in one in five secondary schools. They say, “Its study suggested many teachers were unsure of what they were trying to achieve in the subject.”
I’m not surprised. A few years ago, a report was presented to Suffolk’s SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education) by a middle school teacher who’d been given a grant from an independent body for a sabbatical to research RE provision in the county. Her report showed that, in many schools, RE was a low priority subject that came bottom of the list for resources and staffing. Teachers who were in charge of RE in their schools struggled to maintain standards because of frequent time-table changes, so that a different group of non-specialist teachers might be delegated to teach the subject in different terms. Consequently, a lot of RE was taught by teachers who knew very little about it.