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is a lack of good religious education putting pupils at risk?

20 February 2018

Government data reveals that initial teacher training places in England for Religious Education are below target. This news comes against the backdrop that schools are struggling to retain existing teachers.

The data has prompted The Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) to express concern that a shortage of religious education teachers could: “contribute to religious stereotyping and discrimination, leaving pupils at risk of becoming ignorant, or bigoted.”

Is the extent of the teacher recruitment and retention problem underestimated, and are sufficient steps being taken by the Government? An advisory board has been established to consider the growing problem of teacher recruitment and retention. A spokesman for the Welsh Government has commented that:

"We believe that this, together with a new curriculum, a new approach to our foundation phase and a commitment to professional learning will help us attract the very best teachers."

Will the Governments strategy be enough to combat teacher recruitment and retention problems? The proof will be in the pudding. 

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