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Are RS/RE subject specialists still valued?

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by Istari, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Istari

    Istari New commenter

    Hi everybody! :D I am currently a TA. I intend to apply for teacher training later this month (September 2020 cohort). I absolutely LOVE Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology (and have a BA in the subject), but lots of existing teachers have put me off, saying that subject specialists aren't valued anymore, and that jobs are extremely scarce.

    I have been advised to train to teach English instead, and to branch off into teaching RS/RE as an additional subject if/when the opportunity presents itself. As I have an MA in English, this is feasible...but though I love English, Philosophy & Theology is what I love most.

    So is everybody right? Does the fact that I'm a subject specialist make it any more likely that I will find a job as an RS/RE teacher? And if not, shall I just do as I have been advised? o_O
  2. mkl

    mkl New commenter

    From my experience it seems to be difficult to recruit RS teachers in London, and the schools I have taught at often have to advertise in Ireland, which seems to suggest that there is a demand for specialists. These have been Catholic schools, though.
  3. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    There is a dearth of RS subject specialists nationally. Whether or not the subject and subject specialists (is)/are valued depends on the school: some do, others don't. Of course, RS is not as valued as English, Maths and Science. However, if I were you and I decided to train to teach RS, I'll only apply to schools where the subject is offered as an option at KS4-5.
  4. Istari

    Istari New commenter

    That's pretty encouraging! I have no qualms about teaching at faith school :)
  5. Istari

    Istari New commenter

    Certainly! I'd never want to get stuck teaching KS3 only :confused:
  6. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I would say as a Supply Teacher RS is in decline. Many schools prefer to use spare capacity from non specialists to fill vacancies. I think situation will get worse - it's not as bad yet as late 80s,early 90s.

    I think it would be wise to train in English.

    You may be happy to teach in faith schools. More to the point, RC schools tend to employ RC RE teachers..if you are not a Catholic you would find it difficult to get an RE teaching job.
  7. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    It is certainly true that non-specialists are used a lot. However, in a recent inset day, we were informed that there is now a requirement that some RE is taught throughout a child’s education; not just KS1-3. I think many schools have got away with not providing it at KS4-5, so there might be an increase in schools looking for specialists in he near future.

    There does seem to be a dearth of RE specialists, so if you choose that route I suspect you will find a job fairly easily. Then again, schools are always looking for English specialists, so that would also be a good choice. Whichever you choose, remember that people train as a teacher; the specialism is effectively an add-on. Once you have qualified youcan apply to teach any subject!

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