BANGOR University is set to help boost the number of teachers of religious education thanks to a £75,000 grant.

RE has faced a crisis in recent years with the recruitment of new graduates failing to keep up with demand.

The grant from the All Saints Educational Trust has been awarded to Dr Lucy Huskinson, to lead the work to encourage more students to take up RE teaching, with, Dr Josh Andrews and Dr Gareth Evans-Jones.

A new three-year project at the university’s schools of history, philosophy, and social sciences will collate and develop new teaching materials.

Dr Lucy Huskinson said: “We need to ensure that we have sufficient current and new teachers who feel confident in delivering the new curricula being introduced for RE in secondary schools in England and Wales.

“We want to resolve two problems, the lack of confidence and expertise reported by current secondary school teachers, who feel ill-equipped to teach the recently revised A-level curriculum; and a significant decrease in numbers of subject students in the UK considering a career in teaching religious studies and philosophy.”

“We look forward to working with a number of schools across North Wales and the North West of England.

Current students will be encouraged to consider a career as RE teachers, by providing them with opportunities to experience RE teaching.

Dr Rowan Williams, Former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge said: "I’m delighted to welcome this new initiative in North Wales and the North West of England. 

"We need as perhaps never before teachers of religious studies who can open up the real human depth of the subject, who are themselves committed to its significance and who are fully resourced for the task."

Teachers have welcomed the news. Dr Gareth Lanagan, programme area manager, of Grwp Llandrillo-Menai said: “I believe this project will be paramount to the success of Religious Studies as an A-level subject."

Mrs Mefys Jones-Edwards A Level RE teacher at Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones Amlwch said: "The project couldn’t happen at a better time."