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.


Training Routes

Anyone wanting to teach RE in England and Wales must complete initial teacher training (ITT).

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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

We’re very pleased to announce that for the academic year 2016/17, there will be a total of 817 training places available for RE, 506 of which will be PGCEs.

Before undertaking training, many students complete our Teach RE Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course to help them understand more about the teaching of RE and to boost their subject knowledge before applying for a place.


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.

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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 2016/17.  These will be £9000 for trainees with a 1st or a PhD and £4000 for trainees with a 2:1.  For more information, see:

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:



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.

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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.

The majority of training providers recommend our Teach RE Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course.

The Teach RE Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course is distance learning based and tailored to your individual needs. Support is provided by a tutor and a certificate of completion is provided which you can use to support a PGCE or School Direct application if appropriate.

‘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.