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Inspectors to review primary RE reports

The Office for Standards in Education has promised to review its inspection of religious education in primary schools after admitting that the quality of reports is too variable.

This follows a complaint to OFSTED from Hampshire's Standing Advisory council on Religious Education (SACREs are responsible for producing RE syllabuses and monitoring the teaching of RE in their area).

After reviewing reports on RE in 100 primaries, the SACRE found that "in a significant number of reports statements are made that are either confusing or contribute to a reinforcement of low expectation about RE". Inspection teams often lacked people with enough experience to inspect the subject and lacked explicit criteria for inspecting RE, OFSTED was told.

Inspectors appeared to be confused about whether they were inspecting religious education or collective worship, and inspectors made judgments on pupils' performance without reference to the agreed syllabus.

Replying to the complaint, Barbara Wintersgill, a senior HMI at OFSTED, admitted that the quality of reporting was variable and that OFSTED was issuing new guidance to inspectors.

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