WANTED: Atheist to teach religion. Knowledge of the Bible not necessary but experience of asylum seekers an advantage
By Chris Hastings and Julie Henry
The Government hopes to recruit a new generation of RE teachers who have no personal faith and who know next to nothing about the Bible.
So desperate is the national shortage of RE teachers in schools that the Teacher Training Agency has written to humanities graduates to tell them that today’s religious instruction “bears little resemblance to the subject taught when you were at school.”
As part of a £3 million campaign launched this month, thousands of letters have been sent to graduates considering careers as teachers, saying that RE is no longer just about learning the Bible.
It says: "RE is a subject that encourages lively debate in the classroom. Gone are the days of learning the Bible by rote. Today RE focuses on exploring a diverse world of faiths and examining real issues from an ethical standpoint. Class debates might, for instance, revolve around topical issues of the day, such as genetic engineering or the right to asylum. . . .