RE teachers need biblical literacy training - Bible Society

Published 17 January 2013
AP
The Bible Society suggests teachers are not sufficiently trained in Bible literacy

The Bible Society has called for training in biblical literacy for Britain's religious education teachers.

The call was made in a report from the organisation being presented to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education.

The Bible Society says RE teachers need the training if they are to do their jobs effectively.

It warns of a gap between how students regard the Bible and how teachers feel about it, and argues that many RE teachers are not sufficiently trained to teach the subject.

Dr Ann Holt, the Bible Society's director of programme and a former teacher, "Pupils consider the Bible to be important, relevant and worthy of respect, whereas teachers expect students to describe the Bible as boring, old-fashioned and irrelevant."

Concerns have been raised about the standard of RE teaching since the Government decided not to include it in the English Baccalaureate.

This was despite strong public and cross-party support for its inclusion, with 115 MPs signing a motion in favour of such a move.

The All Party Group was set up last year to safeguard teaching of the subject in schools.

Dr Holt said it was important that students understand that the Bible is relevant not only for Christians.

"RE remains the place where pupils gain significant biblical knowledge, yet this biblical knowledge doesn't always develop into its fullest potential," she said.

"The most pressing needs of teachers of RE in both the primary and secondary sectors if for further training in biblical literacy."

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