Dissemination events

The RE Review report launch and dissemination

mediumThe RE Review report was published recently following an eighteen month writing and consultation process.  The report launch took place on 23rd October at Westminster under the auspices of the All Party Parliamentary Group on RE.

It attracted good media notice; there was a considerable amount of coverage in national dailies (including some initial inaccurate reporting, but mostly helpful later on) and radio and TV as well as the specialist press.  

The timing was helpful as the Ofsted report on RE had come out two weeks previously and had generated considerable public interest in RE matters.  

What follows is an overview of the five dissemination events organised during November; some of the presentations are available to read online and more will be added in due course.
5 November 2013: Institute of Education, London. This event was chaired by John Keast OBE, Chair of the RE Council. The event started with a presentation from the Young Ambassadors for RE team at St Bede's School, Cambridge, their contribution was very positively received by members of the large audience. The other speakers were:

  • Kathryn Wright, independent RE adviser and lead consultant for CPD4RE, Culham St Gabriel's Trust 
  • Daniel Hugill, teacher of RE at The Coopers Company and Coborn School, Upminster and executive member, National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE)
  • Mike Castelli, Principal Lecturer in the Schools of Education, Roehampton University, who chaired the RE Review's Steering Group 
  • Aliya Azam, Education and interfaith coordinator at the Al Khoei Foundation, member of Brent SACRE and Vice-chair of Brent Inter Faith.

6 November 2013: York St John University.  This event was chaired by Professor Julian Stern, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Theology at York St John University and started with a presentation by Young Ambassador team members at the Venerable Bede CE Academy, Sunderland, who were unfortunately not able to get to the event but sent their contribution in electronic form.  The other speakers were:

  • Roger Butler, RE adviser and educational consultant, Chair of the Shap Working Party on World Religions in Education
  • Olivia Seymour, education adviser in the Diocese of York and Vice chair, National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE)
  • Dr James Holt, Senior Lecturer / Subject Leader Religious Education, University of Chester
  • Sue Holmes, education consultant (religious education & spiritual development) 

19 November 2013: Oxford University Press buildings, Oxford.  The event was chaired by John Keast OBE.  It started with a strong presentation by the Young Ambassadors for RE team from Perins School, Alresford, which was much enjoyed by those present.  The other speakers were: 

  • Dr Barbara Wintersgill, Associate Fellow for Education Studies, University of Warwick
  • Fiona Moss, RE adviser, RE Today
  • Phil Leivers, Head of Solihull Education Improvement Service
  • Lesley Prior, Senior Lecturer in RE, Roehampton University, Chair of the National Association of SACREs, Chair, European Federation of Teachers of RE

21 November 2013, Hope University, Liverpool.  This event was chaired by Joy Schmack, Senior Lecturer in Religious Education, Hope University, and Chair of the Association of RE Inspectors, Advisers and Consultants.  The Young Ambassadors team from Broughton Business and Enterprise College drew warm applause from the audience for their presentation.  The other speakers were: 

  • Helen Harrison, Deputy chair, Religious Education Council
  • Dr James Holt, Senior Lecturer / Subject Leader Religious Education, University of Chester
  • Jane Brooke, independent educational consultant
  • Alastair Ross, education consultant, Pennine Learning LLP  

28 November 2013, University of Bristol.  This event was chaired by Dr Janet Orchard, Project Manager for the RE Review, PGCE Programme Director and Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Bristol and was introduced by a well received presentation from the Young Ambassador team from St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, Bristol.  The other speakers were: 

  • Ed Pawson, Head of RPE at The King's School, Ottery St Mary, and Chair, National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE)
  • Derek Holloway, RE adviser, Salisbury Diocese, RE adviser to Dorset SACRE, Church of England representative on Review Steering Group
  • Professor Denise Cush, Professor of Religion and Education, School of Humanities and Cultural Industries, Bath Spa University
  • Katy Staples, RE Adviser for Bristol and Swindon SACREs

At each event, the four speakers between them represented a range of different perspectives e.g. teachers (both primary and secondary), advisers, SACRE members, academics, Review 'insider' and so on.  Each spoke for ten minutes about particular features of the Review report in order to familiarise audience members with its contents and significance from different points of view. The chair for the session then invited comments and questions from the audience.  Each of the events elicited a range of interesting and relevant questions and it was clear that the Review report had aroused considerable interest and widespread support.  Many questioners wanted to know about how the implementation of the curriculum framework and the recommendations on the wider context for RE were going to be taken forward.

A number of related events are being organised by RE stakeholders around the country using a similar format to help increase awareness of the Review report, the curriculum framework included in it, and the recommendations for future work to improve the situation of RE as a subject.  Anyone interest in organising an event of this kind is welcome to contact sarah@religiouseducationcouncil.org to discuss support for such an event, including requests for multiple copies of the full report or the abridged version containing just the  curriculum framework.