Commission on RE
A high-profile independent Commission was set up by the RE Council in 2016 with a remit to make recommendations designed to improve the quality and rigour of religious education, and its capacity to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain.
The Commission is currently gathering evidence and published an interim report in September 2017, prior to a full set of recommendations in Summer 2018.
Your thoughts and contributions on the future of RE in schools are welcomed; please go to the Commission’s homepage to submit your ideas.
RE Expert Advisory Group
For the new national curriculum from September 2014 the Teaching Agency set up some expert groups to identify any requirements or resources that should be taken into account in putting the new curriculum into practice.
Since RE was not part of this new curriculum, the Religious Education Council engaged in its own review of the RE curriculum (see previous post below). The resulting non-statutory National Curriculum Framework for RE (NCFRE) was published in October 2013.
In order for the RE community to build upon the NCFRE and to help provide guidance similar to that being produced in other curriculum subjects, the Department for Education (DfE) supported the creation of an RE Expert Advisory Group (EAG).
RE Review, 2013
On Wednesday 23rd October, the launch of “A Review of Religious Education in England” took place in the Palace of Westminster, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on RE.
The document is the final report from the RE Subject Review, which has involved consultation with a wide variety of RE professional organisations and individuals, as well as members of the public, over the past 18 months.
Read the full report or the summary here:
What does it mean in practice? A short presentation from Lat Blaylock:
Take the opportunity to enter your pupils’ creative RE work in the Art in Heaven competition, part of NATRE’s ‘Spirited Arts’ strategy for more creative RE
Work towards the RE Quality Mark (REQM)
– Sue Holmes, an accredited national assessor, can support your school.
There are Bronze, Silver and Gold standards to work towards with national criteria for both learners and learning.
It’s a great way to raise the profile of your RE. Sue is offering advice for those who choose to work towards an award.
The REQM website has a useful RE audit too for subject leaders, available to everyone – http://www.reqm.org/
How’s this to encourage fundamental questions about faith and belief in an RE lesson?
A synagogue in the US state of Virginia has opened its doors to Muslims to use for Friday prayers.
INTER FAITH WEEK
Inter Faith Week takes place each November. The week aims to strengthen interfaith relations in the UK, increase awareness about the faith communities in the UK, and to increase understanding between people of religious and non-religious beliefs. Many schools in Hull and the East Riding choose to mark the week, making particular use of some of the special resources for schools which can be found on the Inter Faith Week website at www.interfaithweek.org
The Accord Coalition is a coalition of religious and non-religious organisations campaigning for inclusive schools. The prestigious Accord Inclusivity Award was launched in 2009 and was jointly won this year by Gwinear Community Primary School in West Cornwall and Ridgeway High School in the Wirral.
THE ACCORD COALITION URGES RE BE MADE A NATIONALLY DETERMINED SUBJECT
The Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain MBE, has urged that Religious Education (RE) be made a nationally determined subject at a seminar in the House of Commons exploring issues around the school curriculum today. The meeting was hosted by the Shadow Secretary for Education, the Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, and was attended by parliamentary staff and members from both Government and opposition benches.
Rabbi Romain recommended that ‘a flexible RE syllabus should be made part of the National Curriculum to ensure that schools provide RE that teaches about the broad range of beliefs held in society, as a path to good citizenship, ensuring that pupils develop an understanding of those different from themselves.’
Also, read how a former Secretary of State agrees with Accord and calls for a reform of Collective Worship laws:
or watch the debate on You Tube: