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Cornish head of RE body says teacher training is key in Ofsted row

By cmjohnw  |  Posted: October 06, 2013

keast

Cornish head of RE body says teacher training is key in Ofsted row

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THE Cornishman who chairs the Religious Education Council for England and Wales says that greater emphasis on training teachers would help improve standards in the subject.

John Keast, OBE, a former mayor of St Austell, made his comments in the wake of a report by schools’ watchdog Ofsted that says that more than half of England's schools are failing pupils on religious education.

Its report accuses schools and the government of failing to focus effectively on the subject and says that six in 10 schools are not "realising the subject's full potential" in an increasingly globalised and multicultural century.

The report highlights low standards, weak teaching, weak examination provision and confusion about the purpose of RE.

In particular, it says the recent introduction of the English Baccalaureate measure for pupils who achieve grade C or above in English, mathematics, science, a language and either history or geography, ignores RE and has further marginalised the subject.

Mr Keast said the Religious Education Council had been warning "for some time about the poor state of religious education in many schools".

“The great problem is that too many RE lessons are being taken by people not trained to do so,” he said.

We need to invest in teacher training – the Government, parents and pupils are all agreed. It is a case of everyone getting together and making sure it happens.

"It is now vital that the DfE works with the Religious Education Council on putting things right. We can do better than this."

Mr Keast said the Religious Education Council would publish its own report and RE curriculum later in October.

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6 comments

  • touringbene  |  October 06 2013, 11:24PM

    The last dying whining throws of a way of life that is being being thankfully eaked out in our society on a daily basis. Shame the process will take longer than my lifetime to see through to it's full fruition.

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  • josdave  |  October 06 2013, 6:13PM

    As one who was only too glad to drop RE at the earliest opportunity I am biased but think it should be dropped altogether. I can see the obvious problem with a spokesperson for some minority religion complaining that it is not included. Any sensible person knows the Bible, and probably the main books of other religions, is a collection of fairy stories with a small smattering of ancient history thrown in.

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  • TruroCornwall  |  October 06 2013, 5:30PM

    A Truro in England?...... Well, I never knew there was one....... I know we have ours in Cornwall though. ......Perhaps there should be a twinning arrangement?

  • rickoon  |  October 06 2013, 4:52PM

    "whenever a church needs its leaky roof fixed, it's funny how it asks the public and gambling Camelot players to fund it." With the roof fixed, the down and outs will still be without a roof over their heads, while the thirty pieces silver is placed back on the table that was once turned over. With smiles all around "didn't we do well".

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  • rickoon  |  October 06 2013, 4:32PM

    ""The great problem is that too many RE lessons are being taken by people not trained to do so," he said." The difference today, you can know the Bible backwards, but with so many different religions and faiths, this on its own is not good enough today, so they say.

  • Truro_England  |  October 06 2013, 4:16PM

    The teaching of religious lies and brain washing should be banned in main stream schools.. Religion is about control and putting 'the fear of god' into the minds of the masses. whenever a church needs its leaky roof fixed, it's funny how it asks the public and gambling Camelot players to fund it.

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