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RE – an Ofsted perspective. Meeting of the APPG on Religious Education Alan Brine HMI National Adviser for RE 16 January 2013. The evidence base (2009-12). 90 primary and 91 secondary schools/academies (including 6 special schools) 230 primary and 429 secondary RE lessons observed

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re an ofsted perspective

RE – an Ofsted perspective

Meeting of the APPG on Religious Education

Alan Brine HMI National Adviser for RE

16 January 2013

the evidence base 2009 12
The evidence base (2009-12)
  • 90 primary and 91 secondary schools/academies (including 6 special schools)
  • 230 primary and 429 secondary RE lessons observed
  • No VA schools or faith academies
  • Telephone survey of 30 schools/academies with no GCSE entries in 2011

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teacher supply and support 1
Teacher supply and support 1
  • Access to, and impact of, training/support was good or better in only a third of schools AND inadequate in a further third
  • Schools find increasing difficulty accessing support and training
  • Primary HTs report significant lack of confidence amongst staff about teaching RE
  • Primary NQTs and RQTs frequently report very limited initial training in RE

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teacher supply and support 2
Teacher supply and support 2
  • In over 50% of primary schools all/some RE taught in PPA time by someone other than class teacher
  • Subject leadership ‘less than good’ in nearly 50% of primary schools
  • Primary subject leadership often lacks rigour and focus
  • RE very rarely the focus of staff training

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teacher supply and support 3
Teacher supply and support 3

Secondary

  • Staffing resources - very variable
  • Continued routine use of non-specialists with negative impact in around 1/3rdof schools
  • Sense of isolation and high pupil contact ratios
  • Emerging evidence of reduction in specialist staffing - but too early to determine a trend

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key findings
Key findings
  • Pupils leaving school with low levels of ‘religious literacy’
  • Teaching not good enough in 60% of provision across Key Stages 1-3
  • Teaching is better at Key Stage 4 (60% good+) but wider concerns about the quality of GCSE provision

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low standards mean
Low standards mean……

Pupils are not developing:

  • A coherent understanding of specific religions
  • An ability to discuss issues related to the truth, meaning or value of religion
  • A grasp of the diversity of religion
  • An understanding of the ‘language of religion’
  • An ability to understand and evaluate ultimate questions

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this limits the contribution of re to
This limits the contribution of RE to:
  • The development of pupils’ wider learning and literacy skills
  • The ability of pupils to develop the skills of civilised debate and reasoned argument
  • Pupils’ broader spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding
  • The promotion of social cohesion

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areas of concern behind the scene
Areas of concern ‘behind the scene’
  • Serious and growing inconsistencies in quality of local arrangements – SACREs, agreed syllabuses, guidance etc
  • Impact of education policy on RE – academies, LA budgets, EBacc, changes in rules for short courses
  • Loss of any clear locus for subject development work – exclusion from NC review etc

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