NATRE exec member to receive OBE in Queen's Birthday honours
NATRE Executive Steering Group member Deborah Weston has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours for services to Religious Education, inter and intra-faith dialogue.
Deborah, an experienced teacher and trainer who works as Director of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development at Mulberry School for Girls in Tower Hamlets, London said of this honour ‘this came as a very flattering surprise. To be honoured in particular for my contribution to inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue is very humbling. I want to say a huge thank you to the people that made it happen and to all those who have encouraged and supported me along the way’.
As well as her role at Mulberry School for Girls, Deborah advises four local authorities on a regular basis, was the former Chair of the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) and former Company Secretary of the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC). She is currently a member of the national executive of NATRE, Chairs the NATRE/REC Public Relations Committee and is a trustee of the Culham St Gabriel’s Trust. Amongst other projects this year, Deborah has worked with the DfE and Ofqual on examination reform.
Talking about the importance of Religious Education, Deborah goes on to say, ‘Religious Education has never been more important to our children and young people, their understanding of the world we live in, and the different communities in which they will live and work. You only have to look at the daily news headlines to see this. So when the importance of RE is acknowledged like this it’s not just a boost to me personally, it’s also a public recognition of the excellent work that teachers of RE across the country do every day to broaden their students’ knowledge and understanding of religions and beliefs.’
‘I want to say to all of them that this award honours them too for helping the next generation to become the kind of adults who are not only well informed about religion and belief but who also realise that if we truly treat people with respect and understanding we can only make the world a better and safer place.