How can I find out what RE teaching is like?
Our advice is to make contact with a local school. If you are really serious about teaching RE, the best thing to do is to gain some experience in the classroom.
You might also look at the case studies on our website, or visit www.reonline.org.uk to find out more about what is taught in RE and the different approaches to learning used.
You can find out about good quality RE in your area through the RE Quality Mark website. www.reqm.org
Do I have to be religious to be an RE teacher?
No, in the majority of schools and academies you do not need to show affiliation to any religious belief. RE is a subject that teaches students about religion and belief, not a means of becoming religious.
Many RE teachers believe their teaching practice is enhanced by not subscribing to a specific belief tradition.
Schools with a religious character organise their RE to reflect their religious ethos and may in some cases require a specific religious commitment.
Do I need a theology / comparative religion degree?
Many RE teachers have degrees in related subject areas (such as sociology, psychology or philosophy) and begin with only a limited knowledge of some of the religious faith traditions of this country, but you have to be able to teach them, not write books about them.
Many trainees take a subject knowledge enhancement course before starting their ITT to ensure they feel confident in their subject knowledge early on in their teaching journey. Find out more about how to develop your subject knowledge by visiting the ‘Teach RE Course’ pages on the website.
My qualifications aren’t from a university in the UK, does that matter?
The website of the National College for Teaching and Leadership provides comprehensive information about how to get into teaching. You can visit their website at
You may also check with the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) at www.naric.org.uk to see if your qualifications are recognised as equivalent to those required for teacher training.
I gave up teaching some time ago and want to start again – is that possible?
As long as you still have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), yes.
Before you start making applications, make sure you can give good reasons for why you stopped teaching when you did. Particularly, if it didn’t work last time, what’s changed for you?
It might also be worth visiting a local school and getting an idea of what teaching is like today. Going into classrooms (perhaps working voluntarily) and talking to teachers will give you a real picture of what teaching is like.
You might also consider taking our ‘Teach RE Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course’ to refresh your subject knowledge and understanding of RE in the classroom today.
More information on returning to teaching can be found at:
I trained to teach another subject but want to transfer and teach RE, what do I do?
As long as you have QTS you can teach any subject in a school. However, the main issue you will have to address is your subject knowledge.
We would recommend that you take our ‘Teach RE Sunbject Knowledge Enhancement Course’ as a starting point as this will help you to decide if you really want to transfer to RE teaching. Then, you may consider further study perhaps through distance learning.
In addition, you may want to consider a Master’s Degree where you focus on RE. Culham St Gabriel’s 3forRE scheme provides bursaries for those undertaking a Master’s linked to RE at certain universities.
For more information visit www.cstg.org.uk/grants/3forre