RE Today Services news http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/feed/rss RE Today Services works nationally and internationally to support Religious Education in schools. RE Today is wholly owned by the charity Christian Education, and is committed to the teaching of the major world faiths. Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:06:00 +0100 Entries for Religious Studies A level remain high with the fastest growth among arts, humanities and social sciences http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/entries-for-religious-studies-a-level-remain-high-with-the-fastest-growth-among-arts-humanities-and-social-sciences http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/permalink/505 Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:06:00 +0100 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 level list of ‘generally suitable Arts A levels’.


In fact, almost 21% of students admitted to Oxford University to study English and 13.5% admitted to study History in 2015 had an RS A level, more than those with Economics, Physics and Business Studies A levels.1

Employers are also recognising the value of religious literacy. For example, in February 2017, EY announced the creation of Religious Literacy for Organisations (RLO), a diversity and inclusion training programme designed to help organisations better understand religious inclusion and its positive impact on business process and performance.

Career prospects for those that take Religious Studies/Theology at degree level are also very bright, with 25% of 2015 graduates going on to work in the fields of legal, social and welfare, 11% choosing to become educational professionals and almost 5% managers.2

The high number of pupils taking A level and AS level Religious Studies is all the more impressive for coming at a time when there is a shortfall in recruitment for teacher training in Religious Education. Evidence collected by the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) suggests that headteachers are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit RE specialists.

Comment from Daniel Hugill, Chair, National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE)

“Congratulations to the many students receiving their Religious Studies results today. Their results are the product of their hard work grappling with some of the most difficult questions to ever puzzle humankind. Congratulations to their teachers too who have worked tirelessly to ensure that their students can reach their full potential. It is of little surprise to those of us who teach RS that it remains so popular amongst young people. RS A-level is an excellent preparation for both further study and for entering the world of work. RS is a subject that helps young people gain access to a wide range of degree courses including those at the most prestigious Universities. Our most recent Freedom of Information request found that more than 1 in 10 students admitted to Oxford’s Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and History courses had studied RS A-Level. This statistic increases to more than 1 in 5 for students admitted to study English. The subject matter and approach of an RS A-level helps to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to succeed in modern Britain.”

Comment from Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, Chief Executive, Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC):

“It’s fantastic to see how popular Religious Studies A level remains. This is a highly rated subject that offers pupils the opportunity to explore crucial questions in relation to beliefs, values and morality. In doing so it provides an excellent preparation for living in a multi-faith, multi-cultural world. What’s more, Religious Studies is a rigorous, academic A-level that provides an excellent foundation for further study in a wide range of academic subjects, and remains a very attractive qualification to universities. These results are really encouraging, but there’s still work to do. I hope that the Government will want to work with us to turn enough of today’s keen A level pupils into tomorrow’s teachers to help meet the shortfall in appropriately qualified teachers of religious education that we currently face.”

Numbers of A level entries in arts, humanities and social sciences in England and Wales by selected subject area, 2003 to 2017

Notes: GCE A level results of A level candidates in England and Wales.
Source: Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ)

Download: Full press release including testimonials from students

-ends-

For media enquiries, contact:

Colin Hallmark, 3:nine Communications:

Tel: 0207 736 1888

Mubina Khan-Daniels, RE Today Services

Tel: 0121 415 3970 / 0121 458 3313

Notes for editors:

[1] Religious Studies ‘A’ level continues to be popular with Universities

2 Data collected for “What do graduates do? Higher Education Career Services Unit www.hecsu.ac.uk

3 Due to a change in the way that JCQ present the data, figures for 2003 to 2015 include entries from candidates in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, figures for 2016 and 2017 do not. This change has a relatively small impact on the time series data. 2016 is the only year in which it is possible to measure the impact of this methodological change: there were 117 entries for Religious Studies from candidates in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man suggesting that the impact of the change will be very slight

National Association of Teachers of RE
NATRE is the subject teacher association for RE professionals in primary and secondary schools and higher education, providing a representative voice at national level and publications and courses to promote professional development. NATRE’s Executive consists of a majority of serving teachers from primary and secondary schools who are elected for a three-year term of service.

Religious Education Council of England and Wales

Established in 1973, the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) brings together over 60 national organisations. These comprise academic and professional associations specialising in religions and religious education, as well as individual religion and belief organisations inclusive of the range of faith communities found nationally, including Humanists UK.

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Government consultation response: Implementing the English Baccalaureate http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/government-consultation-response-implementing-the-english-baccalaureate http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/permalink/504 Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:56:00 +0100 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 with them on this.

NATRE believes that it is essential to reward those schools that take their pupils entitlement to high quality religious education seriously and to hold to account those that neglect the subject and so fail to prepare students adequately for life in the modern world.

Read the full document here: Implementing_the_EBacc_Government_Consultation_Response

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JOB VACANCY: Customer Operations Manager http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/job-vacancy-customer-operations-manager http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/permalink/503 Wed, 07 Jun 2017 10:10:00 +0100 We have a very exciting opportunity; we are looking to recruit a permanent Customer Operations Manager to join the team at RE Today/Christian Education.

This position will play a key role in the strategic development of this growing charity and will allow you to restructure the Customer Support function to not only service clients but add real value to internal processes and systems.

Click here to find out more.

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New RE films from the BBC http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/new-re-films-from-the-bbc http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/permalink/502 Mon, 05 Jun 2017 14:29:00 +0100 New from the BBC for 4–7s: Religions of the World is a series of ten animated ‘Octonaut-style’ stories from six different world religions. The BBC commissioned the programmes, and RE Today’s Lat Blaylock worked as their adviser for this short series.

Lat commented, ‘I’m pleased with these films because they offer authentic, child-friendly retellings for use in RE but also perhaps in English. All free to use, of course, and now available.’

Watch the new BBC Religions of the World films

Teaching notes are currently available to NATRE members only.
Email us at admin@natre.org.uk to find out how you can become a NATRE member so that you can receive the notes too!

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JOB VACANCY: Finance Manager http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/job-vacancy-finance-manager http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/permalink/501 Mon, 05 Jun 2017 09:56:00 +0100 We have a very exciting opportunity; we are looking to recruit a permanent Finance Manager to join the team at RE Today/Christian Education.

This position will play a key role in the strategic development of this growing charity and will allow you to restructure the finance function to provide excellent financial management and a business partnering focus across the breadth of our business strands.

Click here to find out more.

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Strictly RE 2017 - Film http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/strictly-re-2017-film http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/permalink/500 Mon, 15 May 2017 10:50:00 +0100 Click here to hear what did our attendees thought of our annual national conference - Strictly RE.

Watch Strictly RE film here

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The votes are in! http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/the-votes-are-in http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/permalink/498 Tue, 09 May 2017 12:41:00 +0100 NATRE are pleased to announce that the following people were elected as Primary and Secondary members of the new NATRE Executive which will begin in February 2018.

Primary
Naomi Anstice
Rachel Buckby
Catriona Card
Katie Freeman
Corinne Guntrip
Harvinder Kaur Sagoo
Kate Penfold-Attride
Hasya Qureshi
Adam Robertson
Gill Tewkesbury

Secondary
Gerry Cohen
Chris Giles
Joanne Harris
Zameer Hussain
Joseph Matthews
Neil McKain
Lisa O’Connor
Becky Palmer
Laura Passmore
Sarah Payne

NATRE would like to thank everyone who stood and those who took the time to vote.

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#REchatUK:'How do we teach pupils to be religiously literate about Judaism? What do they need to know?’ http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/rechatukhow-do-we-teach-pupils-to-be-religiously-literate-about-judaism-what-do-they-need-to-know http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/permalink/499 Mon, 08 May 2017 21:00:00 +0100 #REchatUK took place on Monday 08 May at 8pm-9pm
If you missed it and want to catch up on the discussion you can see it here:
#REchatUK:‘How do we teach pupils to be religiously literate about Judaism? What do they need to know?’

If you have any suggestions for a great topic be please send a tweet to @NATREupdate.

Keep an eye out on our #REchatUK timetable here to see when the next #REchatUK will be.

For regular updates follow us on @NATREupdate.

#REchatUK Poster - for your staffroom to help get others involved in RE.

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#REchatUK: 'What makes for excellent assessment in RE?' http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/rechatuk-what-makes-for-excellent-assessment-in-re http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/permalink/497 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:17:00 +0100 #REchatUK took place on Monday 25 April at 8pm-9pm
If you missed it and want to catch up on the discussion you can see it here:
#REchatUK: What makes for excellent assessment in RE?

If you have any suggestions for a great topic be please send a tweet to @NATREupdate.

Keep an eye out on our #REchatUK timetable here to see when the next #REchatUK will be.

For regular updates follow us on @NATREupdate.

#REchatUK Poster - for your staffroom to help get others involved in RE.

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NATRE & RE Council's joint statement on Religious Education and the 2017 General Election http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/natre-re-councils-joint-statement-on-religious-education-and-the-2017-general-election http://www.retoday.org.uk/news/permalink/496 Tue, 25 Apr 2017 11:07:00 +0100 With the General Election fewer than 50 days away, and political parties hurrying to put together their manifestos, here are four things that we would like to see them include in order to help ensure that all pupils are able to have high quality religious education:

1. To take note of the recommendations of the Commission on Religious Education when they are published (due in the second half of 2018), and to explore how best to implement them.​​
2. To back up the current statutory requirement that schools provide religious education to all pupils with proper means to hold them to account, both for the level of provision and also its quality.
3. To increase the number of trained and qualified teachers of religious education, in order to eliminate the current shortfall.
4. To guarantee that all one year primary Initial Teacher Training (ITT) students to receive a minimum of 12 hours of subject specific training in religious education.

What is good RE?

RE is a vibrant, academically rigorous subject that bears little resemblance to the religious instruction seen in many schools in previous generations. Covering multiple faiths and non-religious worldviews, RE challenges children to explore faith and belief in a way that gives them the transferable skills of literacy and reasoning in the classroom and allows them to gain a better understanding of the world around them.

Why do these four commitments matter?

1. To take note of the recommendations of the Commission on Religious Education when they are published (due in the second half of 2018), and to explore how best to implement them.

The Commission on Religious Education (CoRE) is a high-profile independent commission with a remit to make recommendations designed to improve the quality and rigour of religious education, and its capacity to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain. It was established in mid-2016 and is due to report in late-2018. CoRE was establishment following the publication of three key reports in 2015 that called for reform of RE, and after the 2016 Education White Paper proposed changes to the role of Local Authorities that would radically undermine the legal underpinning of RE without proposing a means for safeguarding RE’s future. Establishing CoRE follows on from the recommendations of the 2013 REC Review of Religious Education.

2. To back up the current statutory requirements that schools provide religious education to all pupils with proper means to hold them to account, both for the level of provision and also its quality.

It is a legal obligation to teach Religious Education (RE) in schools to pupils between the ages of 4 -18 years of age. Nonetheless, many schools do not always meet their statutory duty. According to the Department for Education’s school workforce data[1] 28.2% of schools provide no RE in year 11, an increase of almost 13% since 2010. In addition, 42% of Academies are not meeting their legal requirements at Key Stage 4. At present, there are insufficient means for holding schools to account when they fail to offer RE to their pupils. All too often schools are held to account via performance indicators such as the Ebacc, which excludes RE. We would like to see political parties committing to working with the RE Council and NATRE to develop practical means for ensuring that schools are meeting the legal obligation to teach RE.

3. To increase the number of trained and qualified teachers of religious education, in order to eliminate the current shortfall.

There is a crisis in the provision of RE teachers, with a constant and increasing lack of specialist teachers in the subject. Over the past three years the number of RE teachers have fallen by more than 1,000, while the number of History teachers has remained relatively stable and the headcount of geography teachers has increased by 500. Children’s entitlement to high quality RE is being put at risk because of the failure to secure a workforce of teachers who can safeguard their religious literacy and wider preparation for life in modern Britain. According to the DfE Workforce Census published in July 2015, 29.6% of RE lessons in a typical week are taught by teachers with no post A Level qualification in the subject. When RE is taught by teachers that are not specialists in the subject there is a risk that issues within the curriculum and general discussion can be ignored for fear of offence or a lack of understanding.

4. To guarantee that all one year primary Initial Teacher Training (ITT) students to receive a minimum of 12 hours of subject specific training in religious education.

On average, a primary trainee teacher receives less than three hours of training in RE on a PGCE or Schools Direct one year course. This is insufficient for them to cover a subject as complicated and important as RE. We believe that if all primary ITE students had a minimum of 12 hours of RE training this would put them in a far stronger position once they are in the classroom. 12 hours is the equivalent of just two days within a one year course: this is a realistic and deliverable aspiration.

[1] Based on an analysis of 2,793 schools in England in 2015

National Association of Teachers of RE
NATRE is the subject teacher association for RE professionals in primary and secondary schools and higher education, providing a representative voice at national level and publications and courses to promote professional development. NATRE’s Executive consists of a majority of serving teachers from primary and secondary schools who are elected for a three-year term of service.

Religious Education Council of England and Wales

Established in 1973, the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) brings together over 60 national organisations. These comprise academic and professional associations specialising in religions and religious education, as well as individual religions and belief organisations inclusive of the range of faith communities found nationally, including the British Humanist Association.

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