Shortfall in qualified RE teachers is official
MORE than half of those teaching religious education are neither qualified nor trained to do so, new government figures say. The Department for Education’s annual workforce analysis, published this month, reveals that 54 per cent of the 15,000 teachers involved in RE in England fall into this category — slightly more than last year. The educationist Professor John Howson said that the problem would get worse, as only 350 of the 650 RE teacher-training places on courses starting in September had so far been filled.
Anti-Jewish demonstration denounced
AN ANTI-JEWISH rally that was moved by police from the neighbourhood of Golders Green — where 40 per cent of residents are Jewish — in north-west London to Westminster has been roundly condemned by Christians. The so-called “anti-Jewification” static demonstration was moved to central London after weeks of campaigning by Jewish groups and community leaders. In a joint statement, Jews for Jesus, the Evangelical Alliance, the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity, and several priests from churches in north London denounced the anti-Semitic rally as “de-humanising, racist, and hateful”.
Lord Williams criticises Bill to ban ‘legal highs’
THE former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams has signed an open letter criticising the proposed ban on so-called “legal highs”. The Psychoactive Substances Bill, announced in the Queens Speech (News, 29 May), would introduced a blanket ban on all new mind-altering drugs that came on to the market. In the letter, the campaigners, who include academics, lawyers, and MPs, write that the Bill will allow criminal gangs to take over the market for legal highs as well as unintentionally criminalise British people using harmless everyday products.
Leicester diocese offers house for the homeless
THE diocese of Leicester will give one of the houses it owns to put a roof over the heads of some of Leicester’s homeless. The house will be let rent-free to the charity for homeless people One Roof Leicester. The retiring Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, said he was delighted to see the diocese using its resources in a “creative way to address the crisis on our streets”.
Rural leadership scheme re-germinated
RURAL church leaders are being invited to join an 18-month programme to develop their “creative and entrepreneurial talents”. The Arthur Rank Centre, a charity that supports the rural Church, has announced that it will run its Germinate Leadership scheme again from September. New grant funding has allowed the Centre to cover part of the cost of the course. Applications can be made at www.germinate.net/go/clirc