I'm on a PGCE RE course and pretty much 27 out of the 30 RE students begin a sentence in University with "I'm not religious right, but....." or "I'm an atheist and...". Even recently one student told me that the whole of the RE department where they're on placement is atheist. There's also a large portion of the RE PGCE students who "went to a catholic school" but "Wouldn't say I was a catholic". You can't make this stuff up! (ha ha!). What is fascinating is that when I have spoken to Science PGCE students, they find it strange that most RE PGCE students have no faith or practise whatsoever and have said that irrespective of their own beliefs, they would prefer to be taught by a teacher who was a practising religious person. I appreciate that a phenomenological approach to RE is fine, but I wonder that if such a high percentage of RE teachers do not practice any religion at all then how can they fulfil a criteria that seeks to promote ?spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils?? And furthermore, what is it that they are passionate about? The fact that within Judaism they have 'spinning tops'? (dreidels). I'm not saying that faith should be rammed down people's throats in School but If I met a music teacher that couldn't play an instrument and had no interest in playing or engaging with music other than watching X-factor I would struggle to appreciate that they could offer my child anything worthwhile other than some drab facts! So please, if you're an RE teacher (or PGCE student) can you reply with a: "I'm not religious" or a "I'm a practising......." so I can get an idea if RE really is slanted towards non-religious teachers who are more fascinated by colours, noises and ringlets than they are about the transforming grace that many religious aspire to. Thanks.