History of NATRE

NATRE, formerly the Professional Council for Religious Education (PCfRE), was formed in 1985 with the intention of being a single professional organisation that would be a powerful advocate for RE nationally.

Strong links were formed and maintained with other organisations, such as the Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC), the Association of RE Inspectors, Advisers and Consultants (AREIAC), the Association of University Lecturers in Religion and Education (AULRE), the National Association of SACREs (NASACRE), the Shap Working Party on World Religions in Education and RE Today Services.

PCfRE became NATRE in 2006 and continued to be a national voice for RE, both supporting teachers and lobbying for the subject locally and nationally.

Key achievements of the association to date

  • Strong input into the writing of the model syllabuses for RE

  • Involved in each revision of GCSE and GCE criteria

  • PCfRE led the National RE Festival

  • Played a key role in the development of the GCSE Short Course in RE

  • Development and support of NATRE-affiliated local network groups of teachers – currently 180+ in number

  • Offered a series of bursaries to teachers to enable them to undertake classroom projects and publish their outcomes

  • Part of the writing group for the non-statutory National Framework for RE

  • Worked with the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) to support the delivery of RE through ICT

  • NATRE with RE Today worked with CfBT Education Trust to deliver the roll-out of the new secondary curriculum for RE on behalf of the DCSF

  • Produced a series of four promotional films about RE

  • Delivered five series of Westhill Seminars, funded by Westhill Endowment

  • Contributed to the QCDA/DfE’s ‘RE Guidance’ document and published a guide to online RE resources following the recommendation of the DFE/Warwick University report

  • Won the tender to lead the QCDA’s exemplification of standards project for RE

  • Led an effective and powerful campaign, engaging with and working through teacher voice, to challenge the introduction of the EBacc due to its negative impact on RE

  • Planned and delivered a sustained CPD project (Excellent RE in Areas of Social Need) with one group of teachers funded by St Peter's Saltley Trust

  • Part of the steering group for the National Review of RE and the non-statutory National Curriculum Framework for RE

  • Working in partnership with the RE Council on a national public relations group for RE

  • Launched the reshaped NATRE membership in collaboration with RE Today Services

  • Key player in lobbying government by providing evidence to support the case for reinstating bursaries for RE teacher training

  • Played a leading role in setting up the teacher groups that will form part of the Expert Advisory Group for RE

  • Updated the guidance document to support visits and visitors in RE

  • NATRE reported the impact that government policy has had on the GCSE entry patterns for short and full course Religious Studies.

  • NATRE moves to new offices.

  • Media schools visit toolkit for RE teachers was developed by PR agency on behalf of NATRE, REC and RE Today.

  • 170 teachers attended the first ever NATRE national conference - Strictly RE.

  • NATRE supported the RE Teaching: Beyond the Ordinary campaign

  • NATRE supported our third cohort of Newly Qualified Teachers of RE through our New2RE scheme. These 30 NQTs joined the 50 who were already part of the scheme.

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