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WHAT IS HAPPENING IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION HULL JOHN KEAST, Chair of the Religious Education Council 19 April 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT IS HAPPENING IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION HULL JOHN KEAST, Chair of the Religious Education Council 19 April 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT IS HAPPENING IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION HULL JOHN KEAST, Chair of the Religious Education Council 19 April 2013

2 Preamble: What is the RE Council? Umbrella body for all RE community Faith communities Professional and academic organisations (including NATRE, ISRSA) Voluntary groups National united voice of RE working with and through its member organisations

3 Introduction: Recent improvements in RE National Support, ie curriculum development, exemplification, qualifications, training Model syllabuses 1994 Funding for training QCA support for SACREs – conference, analysis of reports Development of GCSE short course Non-statutory Guidance 2000 Non-statutory National Framework 2004 Local Support, ie SACREs, Las, Peer groups through NATRE

4 RE nationally since 2010 RE not required by statute to be taught in academies and free schools: funding agreements only (Academies Act 2010) Academies not required to teach RE according to LAS(A Act 2010) No response given to 2010 Ofsted Long Report: next due this May Abolition QC(D)A: no national support (2011) Removal of all national exemplars and Programmes of Study (2011) Reduced targets for RE PGCE places by a third, putting many courses at risk of closure, because numbers are single figures (2011) Removal of bursaries for RE PGCE applicants – decline in applicants Exclusion of RS from EBacc (2011) Exclusion of RE from the government review of the school curriculum Discounting of GCSE short course in school performance Reform of GCSEs announced: future of RS (& others) unclear (2012) Ofsted no longer carrying out subject surveys, no national picture of RE

5 RE locally since 2007 Loss of paragraphs on RE in Ofsted inspection reports Loss of RE adviser posts Diminishing or no budgets for SACREs Most secondary schools now outside the remit of SACREs Some SACREs failing to meet and/or carry out duties Statutory Agreed Syllabus reviews increasingly not carried out Virtual disappearance of local CPD

6 Interpretation: what is happening to RE Dismantling of national support and structures for RE Increasing collapse of local support and structures for RE Consequences Nobody locally knows what is happening in RE in schools Little or no opportunity for continuing professional development Fewer qualifications likely to be taken with knock on effect to HE Fewer trained teachers Fragmentation of RE curriculum Marginalisation, decline in status, provision and quality Risk of downward spiral in non-faith based schools

7 How the REC is responding Coming together of the RE community to take responsibility for RE in a new educational world Strategic Plan ( ), including Curriculum Assessment and Qualifications Professional Development Public Relations Representation to government to seek Signal of importance of RE Support for RE Council and its work

8 Key Strategic plan activities Own Review of RE Parallel to review of National Curriculum Restated aims, core curriculum, assessment, guidance Phase 2 now starting based on Expert Panel Report (Jan 13) Qualifications reform: REC role? All Party Parliamentary Group for RE: Report of enquiry on Teacher training and support just published – RE: The truth unmasked RethinkRE Links with trusts, heads and governors RE Quality Mark Young ambassadors for RE

9 Conclusion National support for RE has led to its improvement since 1994 but support for RE teachers nationally is now being eroded Local support for RE has depended on national initiatives but is now fragmenting RE is in danger especially in non-faith based schools RE Council is stepping into the void!

10 Questions?


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