To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effect of his Department's withdrawal of bursaries for trainee religious education teachers on the level of recruitment of religious education teachers; and if he will make a statement.
Bursaries are designed to attract applicants to initial teacher training (ITT) to ensure that we have enough teachers capable of teaching religious education (RE) by the time they qualify. When bursary decisions for 2014/15 were taken in October 2013, we did not have the enrolment data for 2013/14.
While there was a shortfall in recruitment to RE this year, there was significant over-recruitment in previous years, which will give protection against any under-recruitment.
We will continue to monitor RE recruitment closely this year.