A Religious Education first from the REC and NATRE

NATRE and the REC have initiated the first nationwide project to collect information with a view to accurately reporting on how all ~4,500 state-funded secondary schools in England and Wales are making provision for religious education.

Schools will be sent a short but comprehensive survey to complete, and other stakeholder groups like trades unions and Governors’ bodies will be contacted to explain the need for the survey. We will be outlining to them the importance of the data being collected for the future provision of RE and the benefits good quality RE offers to our young people, our communities, and society as a whole.

The results will allow REC/NATRE to 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.

This project will run parallel to, but independent of, the continuing work of the Commission on Religious Education, which is conducting its own review over the next two years of the legal, education and policy frameworks for RE in all schools and colleges in England that educate pupils of any age up to 19. However, any project findings will enrich the context of the Commission’s work and will feed into its own recommendations aimed at sustaining or improving the secondary school RE offer.

Both strands of work are being undertaken at a critical time for religious education, in particular because of the Government’s ongoing programme of educational reform and drive towards full academisation.

A formal request to schools for the required information will be sent out shortly. The data will be collected online during January, then collated and critically assessed, with the findings published during the summer term.

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