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From RE Today (www.retoday.org.uk)

WANTED: Specialist RE Adviser for RE Today Services

RE Adviser Salary: Equivalent to TPS L1 ( £37,876) - L7 ( £43,957) according to experience

We are seeking a full-time specialist RE Adviser to complement the work of our well-respected RE Team.

The successful applicant will have recent and relevant experience of teaching and/or advising in RE in the primary phase with a willingness to contribute to both phases as necessary.

They will be expected to offer RE advice, training and consultancy services to SACREs, Local Authorities, academy groups, schools and others, and contribute to our publications work. They will be based at home. The ability and willingness to travel and 'out of normal office hours' working are integral to the post.

Download the RE Adviser Application Pack here: RE_Adviser_Application_Pack_-_April_2014.doc Alternatively please contact Diane Horton at diane@retoday.org.uk Tel: 0121 472 4242 Address: RE Today Services, 1020 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6LB

For further information or informal discussion about the post contact Diane Horton who will arrange for Lat Blaylock, Stephen Pett or Fiona Moss to contact you.

Closing date for applications: 10am Tuesday 6 May

Successful applicants will be notified: Friday 9 May Interviews will be held in Selly Oak, Birmingham: Friday 23 May 2014 Starting date (preferred): Monday 1 September 2014


Statement on GCSE and A Level reform

The National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) and The Religious Education Council (REC) are delighted that the Department for Education has accepted the case for the reform of GCSE and A level examinations in the subject on the same time scale as EBacc subjects such as History and Geography, with first teaching 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 is an ideal opportunity to work towards that aim.

REC Qualifications Committee chair Deborah Weston said, ‘GCSE Examinations in RS are taken by around 450,000 candidates each year, having become rapidly more popular in recent years. GCE A level RS is a valued academic qualification which has been described by the Russell Group as a good preparation for university generally. This decision amplifies the signal that the government recognises the importance of Religious Education alongside the EBacc group of subjects. This is to be welcomed.’ The REC will lead this process in partnership with the awarding organisations and the Department for Education. The REC Qualifications Committee brings together a strong team of stakeholders representing member organisations for advisers, higher education and SACREs and teachers.  NATRE has five members of the NATRE Executive serving on the Qualifications committee. They are supported by a reference group of representatives from organisations and communities of religion and belief.

NATRE chair Ed Pawson welcomed the announcement that GCSE exams in RS are being reviewed in line with the other EBacc subjects. He adds: ‘RE teachers have been pressing for more than 3 years for parity between different GCSE subjects and this is a vindication of our campaign. GCSE RS is recognised to be an academically challenging subject, with more students sitting a Full GCSE in RS in 2013 than in either History or Geography, so it is welcome news that it can continue to stand alongside other Humanities subjects in the secondary school curriculum’.


Media enquiries: Colin Hallmark / Harriet Johnson, 3:nine Communications Tel: 0207 736 1888; 07837 053 207 ; email: info@3nine.co.uk

Mubina Khan-Daniels, RE Today Services Tel: 0121 472 4242; mubina@retoday.org.uk;

Latest conversation on #REchatUK

#REchatUK took place on Monday 7 April 2014 8 - 9pm. If you missed it and want to catch up on the discussion on ‘Using visual media in RE’ you can see it here

Thanks to those who contributed. Do take a look and please consider taking part next month: Monday 12th May 8 - 9pm.

If you have any suggestions as to what next month's topic should be please send a tweet to @NATREupdate

'Respect for All day' at Aston Villa - 2nd May 2014

We have a fantastic opportunity for 8 of your year 8 students to take part in a 'Respect for All day' at Aston Villa on the 2nd May 2014 from 9.45-3pm

NATRE, Culham St Gabriel's and RE Today are hosting a pupil conference to give young people a say about religions and belief, and promoting respect for all at no cost to your school.

The aims of the conference are to:

* To encourage pupils to learn from each other through dialogue and shared experience,   promoting respect for all * To provide an interesting and exciting experience in RE to pupils from West Midlands schools * To develop pupils' creative and expressive talents * To promote the place of excellent, open-minded RE * To share high quality teaching resources with West Midlands teachers of RE * To build community cohesion through

Click here for further details and the booking form: Respect_for_All_at_Aston_Villa_May_2nd_14.doc

We only have 2 spaces left for secondary schools if your school is interested please email mark@retoday.org.uk before Friday 11th April with the booking form attached.

Please note only the first 2 secondary schools will be accepted, so please get your form in quickly to avoid missing out!

A Question Of Faith, BBC Two - classroom activities included!

Five new short films for RE at 14-16 were broadcast this week on BBC Two at 4am.

Here the link if you missed it A Question of Faith (only available till 2nd April)

A great chance to record them. Lat Blaylock, Consultant to the series and RE Adviser for RE Today, says 'I'm really pleased with these, and think all RE teachers for GCSE and ~Standard grade will find them useful."

Classroom resources from RE Today to support this can be found here.

Your school could win £600 and £600 for the teacher!

The Hockerill Educational Foundation and NATRE have joined forces to provide the educational world of Primary and Secondary education with a new prize which recognises the work and dedication of those who teach Religious Education in primary and in secondary RE.

Building on the success of the joint conferences run for new RE Teachers in their PGCE year, Hockerill and NATRE have developed this prize to recognise innovation in this very important subject area.  We are also aware that the school ethos must provide the teacher with the right environment for innovation to occur.

The prize will recognise both these elements and as a result will be in two parts: 1. The first part is a monetary prize for the school to enable it to purchase new RE materials. 2. The second part is an educational bursary for the teacher to part fund attendance at a specialist educational course for RE.

The prize will also recognise that the needs and requirements of the Primary and Secondary sectors are different and will therefore be given separately in each sector.

We would like to encourage as many teachers as possible to enter this completion but some are reticent about entering.  If you are a head of department, headteacher or a school governor and would like one of your teachers to enter the please write to Mr Derek Humphrey at info@hockerillfoundation.org.uk and he will send the teacher an invitation to enter the competition.

The First Prize will be £600 to the School and a bursary of £600 to the teacher. There will be a prize for both a winner in the primary sector and a winner in the secondary sector.

To apply: Download entry form and guidance notes below: HNApplication1.doc HNGuidance1.doc

Closing date: 31 May 2014. 

Judging will take place in the following two months, with the successful prize winners being notified in July.  The prizes will be presented in the Autumn term of that year.

The Judging panel There is a judging panel of six people, drawn from the profession, academia, the Trustees of Hockerill and from NATRE.

If you have any questions or queries then please contact: The Secretary, Hockerill Education Foundation at info@hockerillfoundation.org.uk

Religious Education can reduce religious misunderstanding and conflict, say MPs

MPs publish recommendations on how RE can contribute to community cohesion

An inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education (RE) has 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.

The inquiry found that a strong RE-based community ethic exists in many schools and colleges. Its summary report, "RE and Good Community Relations", recommends how this approach can be made universal.

In its review of evidence the group heard from subject and community experts that levels of understanding about RE in schools are often misinformed and inaccurate. The APPG summary report is calling for:

* Clearer school-based community relations and equalities policies on matters of religion and belief to help young people learn skills of dialogue and acceptance

* Better and consistent good practice teaching guidance to ensure teachers are well prepared, in particular they need to be able to confidently educate on intra-religious conflicts

* Use of the SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on RE) and other networks to promote contact between young people from all backgrounds, including through youth conferences, linking schools and intercultural projects

* Teacher training on the use of technology, especially social media, helping forge links between young people from different religion and belief backgrounds.

Commenting on the findings of the report, chair of the APPG on RE, Stephen Lloyd MP said:

"Religion and belief are often portrayed inaccurately. Myths and stereotypes permeate the popular media and have become embedded in the national psyche. It is vital that all young people are armed with the right knowledge and facts to discriminate between myth and reality.

"Schools and colleges are a safe and trusted place to explore religions, conflict and world views in a constructive and positive way. There are a large number of excellent RE teachers in schools and colleges nationwide who are doing an outstanding job in linking RE back to their communities. This prepares children for the challenges and opportunities of multi-cultural life, and helps them live harmoniously with others."

"Ofsted no longer monitors schools' duty to promote community cohesion, however there is an opportunity for RE to contribute to stronger community links and provide strong resource materials that support religious and non-religious diversity in our society."

Lloyd adds: "This report shows how good RE, in teaching of all the world's religions and those of none, can support a school's broader responsibility to create well-rounded, knowledgeable and adaptable young people."

The APPG's report, RE and Good Community Relations, will be presented to parliamentarians and delivered to Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove on March 17th.

- ends -

For further media information: Colin Hallmark / Harriet Johnson, 3:nine Communications Tel: 0207 736 1888; 07745 914170; email: info@3nine.co.uk

Read the summary report, published on 17th Match 2014

Coverage received

BBC Education

BBC Radio Four Sunday Programme


The Times

Women Bishops in the news - Check out this useful resource

There have been many stories in the news recently around female Bishops becoming a reality as the Church of England synod meets .

To read some of these articles visit: BBC The Telegraph The Guardian

If you are a teacher of RE at a secondary school you may find this resource from our REtoday magazine useful:  An interview with Bishop Victoria Matthews of Christchurch, New Zealand


For many more articles and resources like this - please visit become a NATRE member

A new approach to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education (SMSC)

NATRE has been pleased to support the work of the RSA in an enquiry into Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) over the last 12 months. The report entitled “Schools with Soul” published today was launched as follows:

A new approach to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education (SMSC) Our investigation has found that the requirement of schools to develop the broader human qualities of their pupils has become side-lined due to the overwhelming pressure placed on them to deliver better exam results. Schools with Soul concludes that despite schools' legal commitment towards providing spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC), too many schools took a 'scattergun approach' that risked provision being 'everywhere and nowhere'.

Our report argues that despite an increase in school autonomy, deeper thinking about how to equip young people with the skills, attitudes, values and capabilities necessary to succeed in the modern world has been rendered far more difficult by the constantly changing terrain of policy initiatives.

This report was published in partnership with the Culham St Gabriel's Trust, the Gordon Cook Foundation, and the Pears Foundation.

Download full report

Making the case for GCSE Full Course (for all?) in your school

At the start of the new calendar year, many schools begin to turn their attention to planning their curriculum for the next academic year. The fact that from 2014 the short course no longer counts towards the performance measures, even though it remains an accredited GCSE qualification for pupils, has put some provision for RS at risk. It is NATRE's position that short course remains a valuable means of accrediting pupils' learning at key stage 4. This article suggests however, that in many schools around the country, full course RS for all might be a serious and viable option which is in the best interests of both the pupils and the school as a whole.

Read the full article Accountability_measures_NATRE_final.docx

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REC earsYou can also find news on the RE Council website - www.religiouseducationcouncil.org.

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