The standard of Religious Education teaching in schools is “unacceptable” according to a group of MPs and Peers.
A report from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Religious Education found that one in four primary school pupils was being taught by teaching assistants.
And more than half of RE teachers in secondary schools have no qualification to teach the subject.
The results came from a survey of 430 primary and secondary schools by the APPG.
It found that 10 of the 130 secondary schools in the study were breaking the law by failing to teach RE to some pupils.
The report concluded it was “unacceptable” that primary pupils are being taught RE by teaching assistants, and “in many cases this has a detrimental impact on the quality of RE”.
Stephen Lloyd, the Liberal Democrat MP who chairs the group, said it is “essential” that pupils are taught by “experienced and trained professionals”.
He said: “It is illogical to think that we can dilute the professionalism and expertise needed to teach RE well and still have a generation of young people that understand and are sensitive to the growing levels of religious and non-religious diversity in our society.”
The APPG, which includes MPs Fiona Bruce and Mary Glindon, urged the Department of Education to require all secondary teachersto receive some training in any subject they teach, and to restore bursaries for RE trainees.
The report was handed over to the Education Secretary Michael Gove on Monday. Read the full report here.