9 in 10 RE teachers delighted by student's response to faith each week

According to new research, nine out of ten RE teachers experience delight or surprise from students' reactions at least once a week.

A study by the Religious Education Council of England & Wales found 92 per cent of RE teachers were inspired by the opportunity to broaden the perspective and worldviews of their pupils.

Advisor and consultant in schools on RE and former RE teacher, Ed Pawson told Premier religious education brings value to young people.

He said: "RE teachers create a different space, [children] tell me that they feel valued, they feel they're listened to.

"They feel they can express deep ideas, thoughts about their own personal philosophy and motivation about life, asking about the big questions in life which other subjects often, sadly, don't seem to give opportunity to pupils to do so."


The report also revealed that exploring the big questions in life is the main motivation for nine out of ten RE teachers and 95 per cent in the survey said the subject was more or equally relevant in society than ten years ago.

Mr Pawson said RE teachers provide a unique opportunity for children to question and discover their views on the world in a respectful and open environment.

"Young people want to be known, they want to be valued for who they are, they want to know that they each have dignity, and have the respect of their peers and also of the teachers and RE gives an opportunity for that value to take place," he added.

"In a non-judgemental context, pupils can express deeply held views, they can try out their arguments."

Campaign lead, Chief Executive of Culham St Gabriel's Trust, said: "The responses from our survey showed how fulfilling, inspiring and stimulating teaching religious education can be. What other career lets you discuss some of the biggest questions in life with a room full of enquiring young minds?"

She added: "We live in a society where we increasingly interact with people with different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs on a daily basis. By teaching about the variety of religious and non-religious worldviews that exist around us, RE teachers are helping prepare young people for this future reality."


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