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Trainee teacher discusses future of RE in schools

Tom Harrington, a former Denbigh student and trainee teacher with the Tommy Flowers SCITT who is joining us in July as an RE teacher, attended the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Religious Education Council in London.  The RE Council is a multi-faith organisation which promotes the provision of Religious Education in schools.

The conference, which celebrated 50 years of work by the RE Council was attended by members of Council, RE teachers and students from across England and Wales and guest speakers including Dame Rachel de Souza, the Childrens’ Commissioner for England and Shammi Rahman a former Philosophy & Ethics teacher and Head of Humanities at Denbigh. Shammi, who is now Race Equality Adviser for HFL Education was instrumental in allowing Denbigh to participate in this prestigous event.

Tom was joined at the event by fellow Denbigh Alumni, Dylan Gannaway, who is currently studying Law at Cambridge University.  Shammi Rahman taught RS to both Tom and Dylan during her time at Denbigh helping to inspire their interest in the subject. They were invited to speak at one of the panel meetings to discuss the future of RE in Education.  Tom said during the discussions that he believes that the teaching of RE is vital because it studies the human experience and allows students to engage in a way that cannot be achieved through other subjects.  He also advocated for the further study of other world religions within RE to reflect the diversity of our school communities.

Tom also had the opportunity to talk to representatives from the Department for Education about his experiences as a trainee RE teacher with the Tommy Flowers SCITT, at a time where many other teacher training providers do not offer RE as an option.  He stressed the need to encourage future RE teachers like himself to enter the teaching profession. Attending the conference was a very positive experience for Tom and we look forward to him bringing his enthusiasm and commitment to the teaching of Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Education to Denbigh when he joins us in July.