Ofsted are continuing to highlight RE in reports

We are delighted that Ofsted are continuing to highlight religious education (RE) in their reporting on primary and secondary schools. Here we highlight a range of comments from recent reports.

In their reporting Ofsted are commenting on attainment, progress, and outcomes in RE, and this is being mentioned explicitly alongside other subjects e.g.

They also achieve well in other subjects including history, geography and religious education’ (a primary school).

‘Pupils’ learning is enhanced by the use of specialist expertise in subjects such as physical education, religious education and music’ (a primary school).

‘Pupils attain well in English, media studies and religious education as a result of good teaching in these subjects’ (a secondary school)'.

Ofsted are also noticing where RE is contributing to broader educational aims e.g.

‘The wide-ranging personal development programme and religious education lessons prepare pupils well for life in modern Britain’ (a secondary school).

‘Pupils learn to be thoughtful respectful members of the community through assemblies, literacy, history, religious education, and other subjects’ (a primary school)'.

Even where schools are badly failing RE we are finding numerous cases where Ofsted are picking this up in inspections and reporting on it e.g.

‘The curriculum is inadequate. It does not include some essential elements, such as religious education’ (a secondary school).

‘Improve the effectiveness of leadership and management by; …providing training to address teachers’ weak subject knowledge, skills and confidence in teaching religious education’ (a primary school)'.

The quotes here are only a small sample of the many mentions of RE in recent Ofsted reports. We are encouraged by these signs of progress; after a long period when RE was rarely mentioned in any Ofsted reports. This reflects a good deal of persistent lobbying on behalf of teachers of RE by the NATRE Executive.

We would like to see NATRE members raising awareness of this new development with senior leaders and those responsible for policy in schools of all types.