BY Ryan McDougall | August 23 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

3-RE-Qualification-004

New qualification will boost RE teacher numbers in Catholic schools amid shortfall

A new qualification that aims to boost the number of RE teachers in Catholic schools was launched at the University of Glasgow on Monday August 19.

The Additional Teaching Qualification in Religious Education for Catholic Schools (ATQRE) programme was launched by the St Andrew’s Foundation for Catholic Teacher Education.

The qualification will enable teachers of another subject to become qualified in Religious Education, and comes in light of a shortfall of around 50 RE specialist jobs at Catholic schools in Scotland.

The St Andrew’s Foundation set a target of 15 teachers to sign up ahead of the launch, but 50 teachers in total have expressed an interest of taking on the qualification.

Shortage

Dr Roisín Coll, director of the St Andrew’s Foundation and senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow, said: “There is a real shortage of specialist RE teachers across the country and this is going to make a substantial, significant difference to Catholic education by the end of next year.

“If everyone here pursues this course we’ll have around 50 newly qualified specialist RE teachers with the certificate and I am very proud of the fact that the University of Glasgow is funding it.

“The commitment of the staff at the St Andrew’s Foundation is something that we’re also really proud of and our relationship with the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland is indicative of how this whole project has come into fruition.”

Schedule

The course will take place over the next several months, with one class each month until April, excluding December.

During the first half of the course, the teachers will learn more about Christology, Revelation, Liturgy, and the Sacraments and will undertake 16 hours of online and reading activities, and complete a 4,000 word portfolio.

After the Christmas break, the teachers will take classes in Ecclesiology, Ethics and Morality, Judaism and Islam and complete 16 hours of online activity and a second 4,000-word portfolio.

Solving the deficit 

The teachers who attended are excited to start working towards the new qualification, which course coordinator Clare Fodey believes could be key to solving the current shortfall of RE teachers in Catholic schools.

She said: “It could be the solution, but it ultimately depends on how many people complete the course, get experience and go into being fully qualified. Even if they don’t all end up doing it, it will still go a long way towards solving the problem.”

For more information on the course, search for the St Andrew’s Foundation on www.gla.ac.uk

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