April 2015

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March has been an exciting month, with the release of the recruitment campaign for teacher recruitment. A video has been produced to show how exciting, dynamic and challenging teaching RE can be. We think that the video says it all!

RE Teaching: Beyond the Ordinary

The 'Beyond the Ordinary' campaign was launched on 23rd March with the aim of promoting RE Teaching as a career tor both those in their final undergraduate year, and also to those interested in a career change. The campaign includes a new video and flyers which can be viewed at and will be used in online advertising, social media and at Train to Teach events. The team overseeing the project are particularly grateful to teachers and young people at Redhill Academy and St Mary's CE High School for their help with both filming and photography.  We are also delighted that NATRE members are attending Train to Teach events on behalf of the campaign to talk to potential teachers and ITT providers. If you would like to know more about the campaign, how to get involved or would like copies of the flyer please email

Young Ambassadors for RE

The RE Council champions RE at all levels - from students and teachers, to politicians and policy makers. The Young Ambassador scheme gives students aged 11 - 18 opportunities to:
  • share their enthusiasm and interest for RE and gain leadership experience 
  • give their perspective to adults who work to support RE at the highest levels, such as the RE Council and MPs in parliament 
  • develop skills in communicating successfully to a wide range of audiences 
  • build up relevant experience for college, UCAS or job applications 
  • meet and debate with other young people about why RE matters 
Applications to the YA scheme are assessed on a rolling basis, and so if you know of any schools which might be interested in taking part, please spread the word! Further information and an application form can be found on the RE Council website

RE PD Portal

The RE PD portal is a one-stop shop for teachers of RE to find out about professional development opportunities of all kinds, the portal includes a database of courses across the UK and online. If you are offering any PD courses, workshops, or other provisions over the next academic year, please get in touch or submit your opportunity using the submissions form. You can now also follow the RE PD Portal on twitter @RE_PDPortal, to keep up-to-date with new PD opportunities. If you are a PD provider and would like to receive the half-termly call for submissions, sign up to the mailing list here.


As we approach the general election prospective Parliamentary candidates are happy to listen to the views of the voter. This is a good opportunity to ask candidates in your area to sign the Make Religious Education Flourish pledge.

I pledge to support good quality RE for pupils in all schools, academies and colleges and if elected join the All Party Parliamentary group on Religious Education.

How does my prospective local MP sign the pledge?
All they have to do is to view the pledge and email to sign up.

What do I have to do to encourage my prospective local MP to sign the pledge?
Contact your local prospective MP via email.
You might want to adapt and personalise the following words:
Email template to send to MPs to sign the RE pledge..

It would be great to hear back from you to say you have sent your local MP an email and share with us any responses you may have, so please so let us know by emailing
Thank you for supporting RE!

RE Quality Mark

Classroom based research has been funded for a second year by Culham St Gabriel’s Trust. Four universities, Liverpool Hope, Canterbury, UEA and Worcester will be working with 14 schools to develop research in the classroom.
A number of presentations from the first year were shared at the second REQM conference and can be found here
The REQM is available for schools of all types in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; further details on all aspects of the programme are on its website at, or by e-mailing

New on the RE Council Website

New items on the RE Council website this month include:

RE Regional Strategy

Culham St Gabriel’s Trust are pleased to report that they are now supporting thirteen regional hubs, with several other hubs having established themselves on a self-supporting basis.  They are operating very effectively to raise standards, build research-practice links and develop leadership capacity. On 24 April the hub leaders will be coming together to report progress, share their great ideas and explore plans for the future, as well as advise CSTG about the sustainability of hubs and how they could be supported so that they can continue to have a good impact on raising standards in RE.

Watch 'My Life, My Religion'

Between 26 and 26 March, the BBC aired a series of programmes aimed at KS2 RE students. The videos, which have been produced with guidance from Lat Blaylock, an RE Today advisor, explore five different religions, and give young people the opportunity to explain what it means to be Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jewish or Hindu in the UK today. The programmes will be available to stream for the next couple of weeks on the BBC website

'When it comes to religion, is the law an ass?'

The next event in the Faiths and Civil Society Unit events series, ‘Faith and Public Professions’, will be taking place on 7 April. The series draws on the University of Goldsmiths’ research to advance public understanding of the relationship between faith and the public professions, and lectures take place in room 137 in the Hoggart Building. This event on 7 April will begin at 5.30pm and will include panel contributions from Lord Paul Tyler of the Liberal Democrats, and David Perfect from the Equality and Human Rights commission. Places are limited; to register, please e-mail

Sea of Faith Conference: 'Out of Our Minds - What Can We Offer for a Healthier World?'

'Out of Our Minds – What Can We Offer for a Healthier World?’ Is the title of the Sea of Faith conference, 23rd – 25th July, this year at the University of Leicester.  Keynote speakers will be David Boulton, ex-TV producer, popular author and Quaker; and Rev Dr Andy Pakula, controversial non-theist Unitarian minister, popular author and deliverer of the ‘alternative Thought for the Day’ on Boxing Day last year, plus teaching workshops and the launch of a new collection of essays by Dominic Kirkham, 'From Monk to Modernity', illustrating his own religious education and spiritual journey

'Belief in Dialogue': AULRE annual conference

The Association of University Lecturers in RE would like to give advanced notice that its annual conference for 2015 will focus on ‘Belief in Dialogue’. The conference, held on 1-3 of September at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, will explore contested ideas around religion, education, RE, philosophy, inter-culturalism and related ideas. Keynotes addresses will include contributions from Professor Trevor Cooling, Dr Farid Panjwani, Tania ap Sion, and Dr Joyce Miller. To submit conference papers, please send a 500 word abstract to Mike Castelli ( by 30 June, and for further details please e-mail

Teach:RE Course

Culham St Gabriel’s are delighted to announce a ‘bulk buy’ offer for universities who would like ITT students to undertake the TeachRE course. Please contact for more information about this offer. In addition, a PowerPoint presentation about the course is now available to view and use at


This scheme to support those undertaking a master’s degree with an RE focus still has a very small number of places available for 2014-15. Please see for more information.

Free RE conference: 'Energising RE 2015'

Culham St Gabriel’s are hosting a free Conference for RE teachers, taking place on 3-4 October 2015 at Wokefield Park, Reading. The theme of the conference will be ‘Energising RE: Learning from our successes | collaborating for improvement’. For more information, visit the Culham St Gabriel’s website, where an online application form will be available shortly. 

'Education & Security': TBFF training course

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation and McGill University are delighted to announce an intensive training course entitled ‘Education and Security: The Challenge of Religious Diversity’. The course will take place in Montreal, Canada from 15-20 June and applications are currently welcomed from security, policy, education and development professionals and researchers. The course consists of a series of workshops which will explore policy options for countering religious extremism through effective education that promotes open-mindedness, understanding and dialogue within often complex faith-based and secular contexts. For further information and to apply, visit the TBFF website

'RE: Reviving and Thriving': NATRE conference

NATRE are hosting a conference for all teachers of RE in Bolton on 9 May 2015. All primary, secondary and special school teachers are invited to join them at ‘RE: Reviving and Thriving conference’ a two day event which will be full of seminars and workshops featuring academics, RE professionals and practising RE teachers from all sectors. To find out how you can book your place visit the NATRE website.

2015 Spirited Arts competition

All schools are invited to submit an entry to NATRE's 2015 Spirited Arts competition, which is well underway, with entries coming in from primary and secondary schools. There is still time to take part, so visit the NATRE website and get your entry in before the 31 July 2015.

RE Today: Assessment solutions for RE at KS3

This one-day course, hosted by RE Today, will give secondary teachers of RE up-to-date and practical solutions to issues in assessing RE with 11-14s. Carefully selected strategies and examples will demonstrate good practice in assessment. 
Places can be booked via the RE Today website.

Hockerill Educational Foundation / NATRE Prize opens

The 2015 Competition for the "Hockerill NATRE Prize for Innovation in RE Teaching" is now open.  If you know of any RE teacher who you think should enter either write to Derek J Humphrey at or ask the teacher to go to the website from where the entry form can be downloaded.  Closing date 31 May 2015. 

News from the Hindu Council UK

The Hindu Council UK has taken part in a Question and Answer session on Hinduism at Imperial College London. The talks, aimed at university students, are available on the Hindu Academy YouTube channel:

Accord Inclusivity Award 2015

The Walthamstow Academy - a faith ethos school sponsored by the United Learning Trust - has won this year's Accord Inclusivity Award. The school, which has a Christian religious character, chooses not to operate religious selection in its admissions or employment policies, and provides RE about the broad range of religion and beliefs in British society. Chair of the judging panel, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, said 'The Academy shows schools can uphold a religious ethos while providing an open curriculum and refraining from religiously exclusive practices - the panel is delighted to award it first place.' (

Institute of Jainology presents the Jain view on diet

The Institute of Jainology's religious education team will be presenting the Jain view on diet at the Guildford and Godalming Interfaith Meeting at St Josephs' Church Hall, Guildford, GU1 4AZ. Do come and hear views from different faiths on 'What We Eat, and How does what we eat affect the world we live in?' on Tuesday, 14th April from 7.30pm. Contact us on for further information.

New additions to JAINpedia

The Institute of Jainology's latest addition on the JAINpedia site (online encyclopedia on the Jain faith) is one of the highlights on a core concept of the Jain faith - 'Karma'. See the manuscript on the IoJ website and read the extensive article describing its history, background and meaning.

Launch of report on religion or belief and discrimination

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has launched its report on how religion or belief affects people’s experiences in the workplace and in using the services and facilities they need in everyday life. The report shows widespread public confusion and misunderstanding about the laws protecting freedom of religion or belief, and is based on consultation responses from almost 2,500 people. The Commission will be drawing on the findings to produce guidance which will help improve employers’ and service providers’ understanding of the law. The results will also be used to inform a forthcoming report on the adequacy of laws protecting religion or belief, to be published later this year. 

Opportunity at 3FF: Schools Programmes Officer

3FF is looking for a motivated, energetic person to work within a team to deliver 3FF's Schools Programme, with responsibility for the School Linking Project. The contract is for an initial 12 months, full time, at 3FF's offices in Kentish Town. For more information and details of how to apply, visit the 3FF website
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