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Religion: Teachers

Department for Education written question – answered on 13th September 2018.

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Photo of William Wragg William Wragg Conservative, Hazel Grove

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the quality of initial and continuing teacher training in religious education for primary school teachers.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

It is for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers to determine the content and structure of courses, but they must be designed so that trainees can demonstrate that they meet all Teachers' Standards to an appropriate level. To be awarded Qualified Teacher Status trainees must “have a secure knowledge of the relevant subject(s) and curriculum areas” and “demonstrate a critical understanding of developments in the subject and curriculum areas.” This includes Religious Education for primary school teachers.

Ofsted inspects ITT programmes for compliance against the ITT Criteria, and for the quality of ITT teaching and trainee outcomes. At the end of June 2017 99% of all ITT partnerships inspected by Ofsted were judged either good or outstanding. In the 2017 Newly Qualified Teacher Survey, more than 80% of newly-qualified teachers surveyed rated the overall quality of their training as 7-10 out of 10, with 32% rating it as 9-10 out of 10. The full ITT Criteria can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/initial-teacher-training-criteria.

Once qualified, decisions relating to teachers’ professional development rest with schools, head teachers, and teachers themselves, as they are in the best position to judge their own requirements.

The Government has a number of initiatives to ensure that all teachers have access to high-quality professional development.

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