March 2017

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Teachers of RE and Humanities asked to complete survey on RE provision

The REC and NATRE invites all teachers of RE and Humanities at secondary schools in England and Wales to complete the State of the Nation survey, to let us know about the level of RE provision in your schools.  Our aim is to use the results of the survey to produce an accurate report on how all ~4,500 state-funded secondary schools in England and Wales are making provision for religious education. 

Schools have been sent a formal request via email for the required information, including a link to the survey, and will be sent a reminder this month.

The results will create a snapshot picture of compliance across the country that will highlight examples of best practice and innovation that can be shared, as well as identify under-performing areas where additional future support can be targeted. The data will be collected online during the spring term, then collated and critically assessed, with the findings published during the summer term.

Please do forward the survey to teachers of RE, Humanities and SLT and encourage them to complete it.

Commission on Religious Education news

Visit the Commission on RE website to find out more about the 14 commissioners, to read the latest Commission newscontribute ideas and submit evidence to the Commission, and to sign up to receive news alerts.

Evidence Gathering Session
The first of a number of evidence gathering sessions for the Commission on Religious Education (CoRE) took place on 23 February at Grey Coats Hospital School in Westminster.  The aim of the meeting was to give people an opportunity to make their views known on Religious Education in schools and colleges for young people up to the age of nineteen. A report on the session from commissioner Denise Cush is available to read on the Commission on RE website.

Call for Evidence survey
The Commission on Religious Education received more than 2,000 responses to the Call for Evidence survey, which the Project Manager for the Commission is now collating to produce a report summarising the evidence received. This will be presented to the Commission and discussed at their next meeting on 30-31 March. 

Hindu Council UK

On 22nd February a talk was given at the Home office emphasising the role of Religious Pluralism to combat the issue of terrorism. On 15th January an Award ceremony was held to celebrate the achievements of our GCSE Hinduism students. Nearly half the students got 100 percent marks. Michael Wilcockson - head of philosophy at Eton gave out the awards:

National Council of Hindu Temples takes legal action over beef tallow in new £5 note

Last year the new British £5 note was issued in a polymer which the Bank of England acknowledged contained small amounts of beef fat. The decision did not take into consideration how this would affect the 817,000 Hindus or people from other Dharmic traditions living in the UK who cannot eat or handle beef products. An online petition against the new £5 note has garnered over 130,000 signatures. 

On 15 February, the Bank of England published a statement concluding that  "it would be appropriate to keep the £5 polymer note in circulation and to issue the £10 polymer note as planned in September."

In response to this, the National Council of Hindu Temples is seeking legal protection. Please see this article on NCHT UK's website for more information.

News from Culham St Gabriel's Trust

Research: We are currently developing a new tool on the RE Online website to help teachers access research digests, and help researchers generate output to schools. It will be a 'two-way street' for research-practice dialogue. We are in the early stages of building this and would welcome your comments.
Take a look at our description here:  We would love to have the voice of teachers and researchers.

Masters degree opportunities: Cut the cost of your Masters programme by 60%. The 3forRE scheme is now running in more than 15 universities throughout the UK. It makes it affordable for you to take a Masters programme and stay in the classroom. The details are here:

Networking in RE: We are supporting many local networks of RE teachers who might choose to organise a local conference, teachmeet, series of seminars, or develop a resource. As long as the focus of the network is on raising standards in RE, deepening research-practice links, building leadership capacity or any combination of these aims, we will be able to provide up to £2,000 in support. Find out more:

Teach RE courses: Do you know someone who is thinking of training to teach RE or primary? Or perhaps you have a teaching colleague who is looking for a subject knowledge update in RE? The TeachRE Course (TREC) now has several different routes, for primary, secondary or trainee teachers. Spread the word to any colleagues who might benefit:

Special offer on NATRE membership for schools

RE Budget? Use it, don’t lose it!
This Spring term, NATRE are offering primary and secondary schools the chance to join NATRE and make big savings, whilst equipping them with tried and tested teaching materials and ready-to-use classroom resources. Schools could get a Silver membership (worth £120) for just £75. Share this offer with all the schools that you know! Offer ends 7th April – Don’t miss out!

For more information visit

Special offer on RE Today CPD courses

RE Today are offering both primary and secondary schools the chance to attend one of the following courses for as little as £99 (original price £205) – Don’t miss out!

Primary: Teaching Three Religions (Leeds) – 3 May 2017
This one-day course addresses practical ways of learning about and from three religions: Sikhism, Hinduism & Christianity.

Secondary: GCSE RS Renewed (London) – 16 June 2017
This one-day GCSE training course has been re-shaped to meet the requirements of the finalised specifications.

RE PD Portal

The RE PD portal is managed by the REC and 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

Learn how to deliver GCSE Islam with confidence

A brand new Teacher Handbook from Oxford University Press covers everything you need to know about teaching Islam for the new GCSE RS specifications. Suitable for use with every exam board, The Oxford Teacher Handbook for GCSE Islam includes subject boosters to shore-up knowledge, practical teaching tips and strategies, and ready-made worksheets for classroom use. Written by a team of experienced teachers and leading Islam experts, including representatives from REC member organisations NATRE and the Muslim Council of Britain, this resource will help you teach GCSE Islam in an effective and culturally sensitive way.

The Teacher Handbook will be ready in time for the summer term and can be pre-ordered now. A free extract from the handbook is also available.

Schools receive free copies of What is Humanism?

This month, schools across the United Kingdom will begin receiving free copies of Michael Rosen and Annemarie Young’s book What is Humanism? courtesy of the British Humanist Association.

The book will enable young people, whatever their background, to learn what Humanism is, and discover how many non-religious people try to answer life's big questions, and live happy, ethical, and fulfilling lives in the here and now.

The book is still available to request for free at The website also provides free teaching resources and trained humanist school speakers.

AULRE Conference and AGM

AULRE’s annual gathering this year will be with SERA (Scottish Education Research Association) from 22 - 24 November at the seaside to the beautiful town of Ayr (easy connections from Glasgow airport. More information is available here.

International Conference on Christianity, Education and Contemporary Culture

An International Conference on Christianity, Education and Contemporary Culture will be held at Canterbury Christ Church University from 7 - 9 July 2017. This conference is for those with a scholarly interest in Christian Education. A particular goal for the conference is to encourage the next generation of Christian thinkers by supporting those studying for a postgraduate degree or involved in post-doctoral research. The theme of the conference is reflection on the interaction of Christian Education with contemporary culture.
More information about the conference is available here.

© 2017 
Religious Education Council 
CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London, N1 6AH
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