Lobbying & Advocacy
As the subject association for RE, NATRE is the national voice for teachers of RE. It maintains and raises the profile of RE and tackles issues and concerns around the subject.
Recent activities that NATRE has been involved in include:
Expert Advisory Group (EAG)
NATRE, in association with the REC, has assembled the New Expert Advisory Group for RE. This is a group of NATRE-nominated teachers that meets to identify resources to support the new non-statutory curriculum framework for RE.
GCSE reforms 2016
NATRE and the REC have been lobbying for RE to be on the same level as other Ebacc subjects. They were thus delighted that, in April 2014, the Department for Education accepted the case for GCSE and A level RE examinations to be on par with History and Geography from 2016. One of the recommendations of the REC Review (2013) was to 'promote coherence and progression between 4-14 programmes of study and 14-19 public examinations', and this reform provides an ideal opportunity to work towards this aim.
An inquiry into the impact of Religious Education on community relations
As a member of the REC, NATRE has been involved in an inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on RE, which found that RE lessons have a key role to play in reducing religious misunderstanding and conflict. The investigation heard that, when schools provide young people with a good education on religion and belief, the potential for tension and friction in multi-faith communities is reduced.
Funding gap for trainee RE teachers
Previously, bursaries have been worth up to £9,000 a year, and yet this dropped to zero for the academic year 2013/14 after the government's decision to cut training bursaries for RE PGCEs.
NATRE, in collaboration with the REC and the Bishop of Oxford, presented evidence to support the case for reinstating bursaries to Education and Childcare Minister, Elizabeth Truss MP. However, in a letter on 7 February, the Minister confirmed to the Chair of the REC, John Keast, that no funding would be available for the coming academic year.
As a result, a new fund to support trainee RE teachers wanting to work in secondary schools was set up by a group of four independent charitable trusts, one of which is Culham St Gabriel's Trust (CStG). NATRE continues to raise the issue with government.
RE review and the new National Curriculum Framework for RE
The national RE Review was conducted by the REC in response to the absence of RE in the review of the National Curriculum carried out by government, and which came into force in September 2014.
As a member of the REC, NATRE was in full support of the RE Review. NATRE was closely involved in the process, which took more than a year, ensuring ample opportunity for all interested in RE to contribute to the outcome in the collaborative spirit which had been at the heart of the project.
Click to access the new non-statutory National Curriculum Framework for RE.
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