Becoming an RE Teacher
Once you’ve made the decision to become an RE Teacher, there’s still a lot to think about. You need to decide what training route is right for you, how you will fund your training, where to go, how to prepare, etc. Have a look below for information and links to help you with these decisions.
Anyone wanting to teach RE in England and Wales must complete initial teacher training (ITT).
Starting Your RE Journey
There are now a number of different types of ITT course but all courses cover the principles of teaching along with practical experience in the classroom. The main routes into teaching are either university or school based. University routes include PGCE, BA(QTS) and the BEd. School based routes include School Direct, School Centred Initial Teaching Training or Teach First.
The following link will explain the routes fully for you :
Dr David Webster from the University of Gloucester has produced a very helpful video discussing RE teacher training. Watch it here: Training as a Religious Education Teacher: what’s it like
In the last few years the Department for Education have allocated over 600 training places per year for RE through higher education providers as well as school-based training options.
Before undertaking training, many students complete either our Teach:RE Subject Knowledge Enhancement 60 hour course to help them understand more about the teaching of RE and to boost their subject knowledge before applying for a place.
After applying for an ITT place many students are offered a conditional place. Registration may be dependent on completing a further Subject Knowledge Enhancement course. This could be through the NATRE/CSTG funded 200-hour programme, and students can find out more details about this here.
Bursaries and Finance
Although some school based training roots may offer a training salary, those undertaking most university based routes will need to cover university fees as well as their living expenses.
Funding Your RE Journey
Funding training can be a major factor in potential teachers’ decision to train. However, the DfE have announced that Training Bursaries will be available for those wanting to become RE teachers in 2019/20 These will be £9000 for trainees with a 1st, PhD or Masters, 2:1 or 2:2. For more information, see: http://www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/funding/postgraduate-funding
Some RE PGCE grants may be available from different trusts and grant giving organisations involved in RE. Have a look at the members of the Association of Church College Trusts for more information: http://www.cstg.org.uk/partners/acct/
There are a few things you can do in order to give yourself the best possible chance of getting accepted onto the training route of your choice and to enhance your training experiences.
Getting the Preparations Right
Spend Time in Schools
We’ve listened to a large number of training leaders and tutors and they have told us that one of the most important factors in selecting potential trainees is whether or not they have spent time in schools. It’s vital for candidates to have at least visited a school and participated in an RE lesson before applying to train as a teacher. It’s important for you too – you need to be confident in classrooms and sure that teaching is the right career for you.
There are a number of ways you can visit a school. It is possible to contact one of your local schools or local authority, explain that you are hoping to train to become a teacher, and request a visit. However, one of the most successful ways of visiting a school is to contact the training provider you hope to apply to and ask them to put you in touch with one of their in-school mentors. This person should be able to show you a good RE lesson and talk to you about becoming an RE teacher.
Improve Your Subject Knowledge
If your degree wasn’t in Religious Studies or Theology, your training provider may make undertaking a subject knowledge enhancement course a condition of your training place. Even if you did do RS or Theology at university you may want to improve and widen your subject knowledge by doing a course.
We partner with a number of training providers to offer a DfE funded 200-hour Subject Knowledge Enhancement course in association with the National Association of Teachers of RE. Find out more here or talk to your training provider.
We also offer a short 60-hour course if you want to boost your subject knowledge before beginning teaching. Find out more information here.
‘I would firstly like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to take up the TeachRE course. These three tasks that I have done have increased my knowledge so much in this field and it has also increased my love for wanting to teach R.E even more. Also, the material you provided with these tasks has been very very helpful. I have also been following regular updates on the Teach R.E page. I now have an interview about doing a PGCE in September. This module has helped ease my stress and I feel more confident after completing this module.’
(Shazad, TeachRE Trainee 2016)
For detailed information about the course offered by Culham St Gabriel’s please click here.