NATRE election

Who do you want to see on the NATRE executive committee?

The nominations are in and voting is now open for all NATRE members to choose who they would like to see representing them on the NATRE executive committee between 2018-21.

All current NATRE members are entitled to vote in this election.

The election will run from 3 April 2017 to 3 May 2017.

Any votes received after 12.00pm on 3 May will not be counted.

Important election information - please read.

    • There are 10 Executive spaces available for Primary representatives, and 10 spaces available for Secondary representatives. We have more than 10 candidates in each group – hence the elections.
    • The Returning Officer for this election is Fiona Moss, the current NATRE Executive Officer.
    • We are using a preferential voting system – you will be asked to rank the candidates in order of preference from 1 to 13 (Primary) or 1 to 12 (Secondary. Please note: “1” is the HIGHEST preference and 12 (or 13 for Secondary) is the LOWEST preference.
    • You do not have to give a preference for every candidate if you do not wish to.
    • All current NATRE members can vote for candidates in both the Primary and Secondary elections.
    • Only one ballot may be completed per membership. If you have a school membership which covers your whole school/department you can only vote once.

    • This ballot requires you to provide your name, email address and NATRE Membership Number. This is to allow us to check that votes are from current NATRE members, and to reduce errors or invalid votes. Your votes will NOT be shared with anyone except the Returning Officer and the Administration team. The NATRE Executive and the candidates will NOT have access to your identity or information about how you have voted.

    • When the votes are counted, we will use a transferable vote system to take into account second preference votes (where required) to determine the 10 candidates who are successfully elected. Details of this counting and transfer system (or if you have any questions about the election) are available on request from
    • The results will be announced on NATRE election page of this website, as well as through other channels.

To help you select the candidates that you would like to vote for, our nominees have provided a personal statement - see below:

Primary Candidates

Naomi Anstice I have been an RE specialist for 20 years and teach RE to all classes in my primary school where I am the Assistant Headteacher. I am a consultant for LTLRE North, SACRE member, SLE and Advisory teacher for Cheshire West. Co-chair a local hub and regularly support primary schools across the region. I am passionate that all children can access quality RE provision which will enable them to become global citizens and critical thinkers. I have two daughters and chief tummy rubber for Gusto the Schnoodle, full time chocoholic, part time pantomime musical director, Pokemon Go fan and Geocacher.
Rachel Buckby As a NATRE member for a number of years and a member of the current executive committee I would welcome an opportunity to serve for another term to continue to make a contribution to the important place that RE has in pupil’s lives both locally and nationally. I have held the role of R.E. coordinator in a multicultural Primary School within the city of Leicester for 17 years. I am currently a leading teacher for RE for the Diocese of Leicester and run two local groups that are affiliated to NATRE. I have led seminars at a local RE conference. Inspectors have described me as passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated about R.E. and my role as an R.E. Coordinator.
Catriona Card

As an experienced Early Years teacher and RE Subject Leader I am passionate about the importance of RE for all pupils from Foundation Stage to the end of Secondary education. I am a current executive and steering group member, hosting RE Chat and working with colleagues to produce support materials, a member of my local SACRE for 10+ years. I also support local RE teachers for my LA and as a PLRE for the LTLRE North Hub and was a member of writing group for current and previous Agreed Syllabus, leading writing of EYFS materials and guidance.

Katie Freeman As a member of the current NATRE executive and steering group I have been involved in writing documents for NATRE, working with MPs at the Liberal Democrat conference, speaking at conferences and planning new resources. I am a forward thinking teacher with responsibility for RE across two church schools. I currently teach RE across KS2 having previously worked in an infant school. As an SLE, I run a LTLRE RE hub. My experience teaching in community and church schools means that I bring a breadth of expertise. I am passionate about the importance of RE and the work of NATRE.
Corine Guntrip

I’m a primary school teacher and my current role is Trust RE and Christian Distinctiveness Lead. This role involves me leading RE and Christian Distinctiveness across a number of primary schools within Torbay and South Devon.Since 2011 I have led the Torbay Learn Teach Lead RE hub. As part of my role I am an SLE for RE with the All Saints Teaching School Alliance and I chair Torbay SACRE.I am a member of the Understanding Christianity Accreditation Group with the Church of England Education Office and I am a member of the SACRE assessment working group.

Harvinder Kaur Sagoo I’ve been a Primary teacher for over 18 years and have been the RE coordinator at my school for over 12. I am an active member of Leeds SACRE where I represent both the Sikh Community and the NUT in Leeds. I was involved in the writing of the RE Leeds Agreed Syllabus 2016. In addition I am the Leeds NATRE hub leader and organize meetings for our local groups. I am also enrolling onto the Farmington Fellowship this year. I have enthusiasm and passion for RE in addition to great organizational and networking skills. I ask members vote and allow me the privilege of serving on the NATRE executive committee.
Vicky McDowell Having led RE in schools in Northern and Southern England for twenty years, I am keen to ensure parity of opportunity for our pupils in the experiences offered - rural, urban and inner city. I advocate sharing resources created by teachers, thus I am an active member of my RE cluster. I have planned some of the enquiry based units for Carlisle Diocese and written for ‘RE Today’. RE is contemporary because, whilst the history of a religion’s fundamental beliefs endure, the interpretation of each generation changes - requiring teachers to challenge pre-conceived notions; it a subject of social importance.
John Meredith RE plays an important part in pupils’ spiritual/moral development, where teachers/pupils are challenged by ultimate questions of life/death, beliefs about God, ultimate reality of right/wrong and what it means to be human. I passionately believe in the enquiry approach to teaching RE - Pupils are not robots! I want to make a real difference, be an Executive for NATRE, and be an advocate from South Wales, where I’m setting up a local group, to spread the NATRE message to a wider audience, through meetings, twitter and conferences. I have experience of working at a range of levels within my present roles.
Kate Penfold-Attride

I am Assistant Head and class teacher at a diverse Primary School in South London. I have been RE subject leader for 10 years and have moved RE from good to outstanding. I am passionate about representing Primary colleagues on the Exec. It has been an honour to represent NATRE at London-based events, as well as being part of Strictly RE. Recently, I have been working with a group of the Exec to update the NATRE website; particularly developing high quality resources. I would relish the opportunity to continue on the Exec and see this project through.

Hasya Qureshi As a NATRE member for the past three years, I have voiced my opinions on a radio show on the importance of RE in schools and have written to many teaching institutes requesting information about their RE provisions. I have shared good practices for publications and participated in a video promoting NATRE. I continue to work in other areas of RE such as my local SACRE, where I’m currently the vice chair. I’m also a member of the Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum. Also am an active member of the Tower Hamlets Teachers RE Forum where I have shared good practices and helped teachers plan RE using NATRE/RE Today resources.
Adam Robertson Consider voting for me. Firstly, I am a passionate advocate for RE – believing in its power to delight, inspire, move and prompt children to reflect on themselves, others and the wider world. Secondly, children need access to high quality teachers who feel supported and empowered in their subject. As a Lead Primary RE teacher in the South West I am strongly committed to this. Thirdly, in the face of financial pressures facing education, and the seeming rise of intolerance, we need NATRE to press government to support the teaching of RE in our country. I would work with Exec members to achieve this together.
Saima Saleh I would like to be nominated for this role because I feel passionate about this subject which stems from my personal experiences from my childhood. Having experienced racism in Liverpool in the 1970's, I have always felt an inner desire to eradicate intolerance and to educate children to have a mutual respect for each other, irrespective of their beliefs, cultures or religions. In my role as an SLE for religious Education and as an active member of NATRE, I feel that I now have a fantastic opportunity to work with other professionals in order to fulfil my quest.
Gill Tewkesbury I enjoy making RE creative and innovative and love to share my passion for the subject with other teachers. Being involved in the NATRE committee for the last few years has been very enjoyable and rewarding experience. I hope to continue to contribute my ideas, commitment and passion to the committee. I would also like to advocate for RE more widely, whether through creating resources, engaging with social media or, as recently, leading seminars in conferences etc. The RE community is small but strong, and deserves advocates that will fight for RE’s place not only in the curriculum, but also in the hearts of young people. I would be honoured to do that.

Secondary Candidates



As a passionate, dedicated, self-challenging, lifelong student of RE I want to see RE central to our curriculum. I believe that the keys to great RE are the encouragement of our RE community in their work, proclaiming loudly and clearly that you and RE really do matter. My teaching experience, involvement in the London RE Hub and Facebook's "Save RE" group gives me access to a huge number of RE teachers, trainees and training providers; local SACRE membership and my interest in Holocaust Studies and inter-faith work has developed my contacts with Atheist colleagues, faith leaders and practitioners.

Chris Giles I have had the privilege of working in the West Midlands encouraging curriculum change in RE as a former AST since 2006. Currently I lead staff training in coaching and NPQML/SL programmes, train SLEs, serve on Worcestershire SACRE, coordinate a NATRE group, and organise RE conferences. As a department we work closely with Worcester and Birmingham Universities contributing to both the PGCE courses; I am passionate about sharing creative ways to provide quality RE resources. If elected, I will be a proactive contributor to the Executive and fight for the status of RE at both a local and national level.
Joanne Harris As an experienced teacher and Head of department I feel that I have a wide understanding of local and national issues in RE. I regularly attend the NATRE conferences and in recent years have delivered seminars on a range of issues including assessment and curriculum design. I enjoy discussing RE and sharing good practice with a wider network of teachers on Twitter through participating in #REchatUK. I co-ordinate the Preston NATRE affiliated network group and support teachers through my work with Lancashire SACRE and serving on the current NATRE executive.
Michael Heron One of the paradoxes of our current political, cultural and educational landscape is that RE teachers have never been and/or felt so threatened or undervalued, and yet so desperately needed. NATRE is a ‘voice’ that provides us with the ‘religious literacy’ to create the spaces needed to be confident, to inspire and so meet the challenges we face. As a passionate teacher of RE for 18 years I believe I have a variety of experiences, in a variety of roles from the classroom, to SACRE, to providing CPD for current and ‘prospective’ teachers, to assist NATRE to continue to be the ‘voice’ that teachers (and our students) require.
Zameer Hussain I am in my fourth year of teaching and third year as Head of Department. Although I am early in my career, I have already been heavily active in the RE world, promoting the subject and supporting others. I have done this in many ways including speaking at national and international platforms. Through such opportunities, I have gained professional respect from my peers for my passion and dedication. I would like to join the NATRE Executive Committee to learn from others and also offer my services in the subject to help the world of RE achieve its aims.
Joseph Matthews I am a passionate RE teacher not only committed to the students I teach but my own professional development through opportunities such as the Farmington Fellowship. I am an experienced head of department who has recently led my school to achieve the REQM Gold award. Beyond my own context I remain dedicated to raising standards in RE by working with and supporting a large number of schools across all key stages. This is achieved through my role as an REQM assessor, and as the North Devon secondary hub leader for the LTLRE project. In addition to this I continue to be a regular contributor at the LTLRE annual conference, leading training sessions for RE delegates across the South West. I would be grateful for the opportunity to bring my knowledge and leadership experience to the executive.
Neil McKain I have served on the NATRE executive for the last three years. In that time I have been an active and passionate advocate for quality religious education. I have led sessions at the NATRE, Culham St Gabriel's and ISRSA conferences. I am part of an advisory group to Rt Hon Charles Clarke and Professor Linda Woodhead in their work on a new legal settlement for RE. I have also written two KS3 textbooks for Harper Collins on Sikhism and Buddhism (to be published May 2017). I remain an educational adviser to TrueTube and the British Humanist Association. I hope to use my experience and skills to help improve standards of religious education nationally and to support colleagues at the chalkface.
Lisa O'Connor With over 16 years of teaching in a variety of settings (comprehensive, girl’s school, sixth form and a grammar) where I have been a classroom specialist, HOD and pastoral leader, I feel I have a good understanding of the demands facing RE teachers. Furthermore, my passion for a knowledge rich, critical, inclusive and creative curriculum coupled with extensive experience of curriculum design and assessment (explored further through my Farmington research) also make me an ideal candidate for this role. I value supporting local RE provision through my NATRE local group and would love the opportunity to develop this further nationally.
Becky Palmer As a specialist in an 11-16 Cambridge state comprehensive I have experienced both good and tough times for RE. I am privileged to lead a strong department. Like others, our current challenges include working on interpreting and resourcing the new GCSE. I was awarded a Farmington Fellowship in 2015-16 to develop resources for the new course, focusing on classroom technology (iPads). Nationally, this is an exciting time for RE and it is important for those who are able to contribute beyond their own setting. Through collaborative working we can ensure our pupils are best served now and in the future.
Laura Passmore Since beginning teaching I have taught from EYFS to Key Stage 5 in a range of state, faith and independent schools. I actively keep my subject knowledge up to date attending Strictly RE and other courses and taking part in Twitter debates. I was involved in setting up the Herts Secondary NATRE Group and am currently planning a meeting in April / May for teachers from the Watford area to meet and share resources for the new specifications. I have worked with Hertfordshire SACRE on writing the new agreed syllabus which will be launched in April 2017.
Sarah Payne I’ve been teaching RE for 16 years and have a passion for seeing great RE taught in schools. I have been a subject leader for the past 15 years and also lead PSHCE. To this end, I have been involved in helping many local schools with their RE teaching, including speaking at local SACREs and sharing my experience and passion at conferences. We achieved the REQM Gold award recently- a real highlight. Creative and active learning are my particular interests, having researched through Farmington Fellowship about their impact. I loved my co-opted year on the NATRE exec and would be delighted to be able to stay on to make a difference.
Douglas Rice-Bowen

I am a passionate and committed member of the RE community. Having been a HOD for seven years I have been an advocate for RE at both local and national level. I would bring enthusiasm and passion to my role on the Executive and hope to help drive the improvements in RE that we as a sector have identified and desire. I believe in the best possible provision of RE from year 1 to 13 and will strive to help support the aims of NATRE.

Ready to vote? Click here

You will now be taken to a page where you will be asked to rank the candidates in order of preference from 1 to 13 (Primary) or 1 to 12 (Secondary. Please note: “1” is the HIGHEST preference and 12 (or 13 for Secondary) is the LOWEST preference.

If you have any queries please email