July 2013

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RE Council Board Update

The REC is delighted that Dave Francis was elected as a new Board member at the AGM in May; Sandra Teacher and Rosemary Rivett were re-elected. Board members are sorry to be losing John Gay, who is stepping down as Chair of the PR Committee after many years service in this role during which PR has become a central and successful part of the REC's work, Joyce Miller, who has chaired the Steering and Management Group for the RE Quality Mark since stepping down as REC Deputy Chair last year and Mike Castelli, who has chaired the Curriculum, Assessment and Qualifications Committee/RE Review Steering Group. Warmest thanks to all of them for the commitment and hard work they have given to these aspects of the REC's work as well as to their role as trustees of the REC.  


The APPG is continuing to champion RE at the parliamentary level;  Stephen Lloyd has put up a new Early Day Motion which is attracting strong support. The APPG meeting on 24 June aimed to celebrate the excellent RE work being done in many schools by inviting five teams of Young Ambassadors and two groups from RE Quality Mark Gold Award schools to give presentations about their work and activities.  The APPG is continuing to draw in new members from across the political spectrum and has plans to build on its current success next year.

Young Ambassadors for RE

The Young Ambassadors for RE pilot is drawing to a close; highlights this term have been the wonderful array of activities the teams have engaged in to promote RE within and beyond their own schools (see ).  Five teams of secondary students came to Westminster to make presentations to MPs about why they believed RE was a relevant and vital part of the education of all young people, whatever their personal background in terms of religion or worldview. The Young Ambassadors made a strong and positive impression on all who heard them and the REC intends to continue the programme next year and if possible to extend it to other secondary students and to primary schools.

40th Anniversary Sponsored Walks

The REC Sponsored Walks will all have taken place by the time this newsletter comes out; they have included events in Brent, Spitalfields, the West Pennine Moors, the National Memorial Arboretum, Lindisfarne, York, Durham, Plymouth, Lancaster, Llangollen, Liverpool, North Wales and Jerusalem (accounts of most can be seen at  The walks have been very varied in character and focus – some have concentrated on raising awareness about RE and the work of the REC, whilst others have emphasised the fundraising aspect.  The money is not all in yet, but between them the walks will have raised well over £5000 for the REC and a similar sum for the many other good causes chosen by local organising groups.  Sincere and grateful thanks to all who have supported this through organising or going on the walks or sponsoring the participation of others. 

RE Subject Review

Phase 2 of the RE Subject Review is coming to a close. The wider public consultation on the draft programme of study for RE prepared by Task Group1 and the Steering Group closes on Friday 5th July and Task Group Two's proposals will be discussed by the Steering Group on Thursday 11th July. Meanwhile, we are pleased to announce an important appointment for Phase 3 of the Review. Lat Blaylock has been appointed as a Specialist Writer to develop the final programme of study for RE, in the light of findings from the wider public consultation and with the support of the steering group.  

More details on the RE Subject Review can be seen here.

Philosophical Perspectives on the Future of Religious Education

The Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain and the Forum for Religious and Spiritual Education at King’s College London, will be holding a public meeting in response to Phase 2 of the RE Council’s RE Subject Review. The meeting will be held on 9th July, 5.30-7.30pm and will include responses from dr Philip Barnes, Professor James Conroy, Andrew Copson and Professor Denise Cush. For more information on the event, and to confirm attendance please see the flyer here

Inter Faith Walks Exhibition, Southwark Cathedral

Last year in July, 12 inter faith walks took place in different parts of south London. This year, between 16th-28th July, an exhibition will be held in Southwark Cathedral showcasing the results of each walk, and acting as a resources for anyone who might want to organize an inter faith walk in their own communities. These would also be useful for anyone thinking of devising an RE Trail. There will also be a launch event at 6.15 on Tuesday 16th July, including a short film. For more information go to or e-mail

Institute of Jainology, Discussions on Ahimsa by Jains and Catholics

Jains and Catholics discussed Ahimsa (non-violence) and its practice as a contribution to peace, during a visit by senior members of the Catholic Church with Cardinal Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, The Holy See, to the Jain Derasar (Temple) at the Oshwal Centre. To see a full report of the event with photographs click here.


We are very pleased to announce that this week the JAINpedia website has moved from the beta or test stage to full live status. All the features planned for the launch phase are live, supporting high-calibre original content to provide the richest site on the Jain faith available anywhere on the web. Additional features now available are the 'Learn Jainism mini-site', the interactive timeline and a site wide image gallery

3forRE Scheme

Culham St Gabriel's have expanded the 3forRE scheme which enables teachers and teaching assistants to apply for funding to help them gain an MA qualification with an RE focus.
More details of the scheme can be found at:

Culham St Gabriel's Office Move

Culham St Gabriel’s Trust has now moved office: as of now, their office address is 62 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PN. The new telephone number is: 01865 612035. All e-mail addresses and the website will remain the same.

Innovation in the Teaching of RE

The Hockerill Educational Foundation and NATRE are pleased to announce the winners of the third Hockerill NATRE Prize for Innovation in the teaching of RE.

In the Primary Sector
  • First place goes to Ellison Boulters CE Academy in Lincoln
In the Secondary Sector
  • First place goes to Coopers Company and Coburn School in Upminster
  • Second place goes to Archbishop Tenison's School in Croydon
 Full details are available on the Hockerill Educational Foundation website.

Distinctively Christian Learning, by Trevor Cooling

Professor Trevor Cooling, REC Treasurer, has recently published a small book called Distinctively Christian Learning which he wrote for Church schools with his wife Margaret. Further details can be found here.

The Oxford Foundation Publications

The Oxford Foundation is offering a number of publications which are free to download and will be of use to RE teachers. These are available on the Oxford Foundation website. Their educational programme on violent extremism has also been recently updated, and are available on the Oxford Foundation site where they will be available along with further publications relating to Islam and contemporary issues. 

National Ceasefire Day

21st September marks the International Day of Peace, also known as a day of Global Ceasefire under the UN Resolution 55.282. The International Global Ceasefire Project, a multi faith and non-denomenational organisation which aims to strengthen the UN and bring about global ceasefire on this day has started a petition, and is appealing for signatures to support their goal. To find out more and sign the petition please click here.
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