Education & Family

RE teacher recruitment drive backed with cash offer

A bible in a church Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Campaigners say RE teaching is 'an opportunity to tackle the big questions in life'

A campaign to persuade more graduates to become religious education (RE) teachers has been launched.

The Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC) wants to raise awareness of bursaries of up to £9,000 available to cover training costs.

RE has grown in popularity, with entries to the full course GSCE rising 19% since 2012.

A-level entries have also increased more than any arts, humanity or social science subject over the past 10 years.

The Beyond the Ordinary campaign is the first to specifically target potential trainee RE teachers and is being funded by donations from charitable trusts.

Bursaries

More than 800 teacher training places will be available in the subject from September.

Successful candidates with first class honours degrees will be eligible to receive training bursaries of £9,000, with £4,000 per year available for graduates with upper second class degrees.

Rudolf Eliott Lockhart, chief executive of the REC, said there was a growing need for specialist RE teachers, and that it was a "great time to enter the profession".

"Increasing religious literacy is extremely important in today's society," he said.

"Issues of religion and belief frequently top the news agenda and helping students make sense of them is immensely rewarding and intellectually stimulating.

"No other career gives people the opportunity to tackle the big questions in life and to explore the impact of faith and belief on people's lives like RE teaching."

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