RE for Real: A consultation on religious education

Wednesday 4th February, 2015

Repertory Theatre, Birmingham, 1:30-3:00pm

A public debate on the future of Religious Education, following a morning consultation with invited schools and RE professionals on what is working well and what needs to change about Religious Education in the UK. Full programme and student notes from the day under Resources.

The consultation day was held in partnership with REforReal, a major research project led by Prof Adam Dinham at the Faiths and Civil Society Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London, and funded by the Culham St Gabriel’s Foundation.



  • Adam Dinham

    Adam Dinham

    Adam Dinham is director of the Faiths and Civil Society Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London,...

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  • Andrew Copson

    Andrew Copson is Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. He was appointed Chief...

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  • Charles Clarke

    Charles was Labour Member of Parliament for Norwich South, which he remained until May 1997 –...

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  • Daniel Hugill

    Daniel currently works at the Coopers’ Company and Coborn School in London as a Teacher of RE...

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  • Joyce Miller

    Joyce Miller retired in 2007 from the post of Head of Diversity and Cohesion at Education Bradford...

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  • Julia Ipgrave

    Dr Julia Ipgrave has degrees from Oxford University (MA Modern History), Warwick University (MA...

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  • Mark Chater

    Dr Mark Chater is Director of Culham St Gabriel’s, which is an endowed charitable trust dedicated...

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  • Rachael Jackson-Royal

    Dr Rachael Jackson-Royal undertook her PhD at Birmingham University looking at the impact of...

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  • Sarah Hall

    Sarah has extensive experience as an RE practitioner and has worked as Head of department for 9...

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  • RE for Real panel debate 1 (20.36)

  • RE for Real panel debate 2 (24.02)

  • RE for Real Q&A 1 (22.34)

  • RE for Real Q&A 2 (13.49)


3 Responses to RE for Real: A consultation on religious education

  1. Veronika says:

    Is it possible to see RE FOR REAL: A CONSULTATION ON RELIGIOUS EDUCATION debate in podcast in the future?

  2. David McKnight says:

    Having sat as a Humanist representative for 5 years on a SACRE, was invited to write a parallel syllabus ,then having written and re-written an optional Humanist adaptation of the locally agreed syllabus with many hours of work, you can imagine how I felt when its publication was blocked by people who were not at the SACRE meetings. I was never given a complete explanation of what was wrong or a suggestion that the syllabus for Humanism might be operative on entirely different criteria or any hope of its actual publication. I remain completely confused about the difference between a SACRE and an agreed syllabus conference, made more confusing when the chair at one meeting suddenly converted the SACRE into an agreed syllabus conference. I gave up. No individual member of any religion showed the slightest resentment at my presence on the committee – provided of course that I did not have a vote.

    Please therefore understand and perhaps partially forgive my view that SACREs have always been about each religion protecting their own beliefs, not about finding the best for children. My view is also that each religion should have enough opportunity to indoctrinate OUTSIDE of school hours, even given facilities at the school premises, but operating after school hours for those children and parents that want it.

    Children’s are NOT that different from one town or one county to another and a National syllabus for RE is the only logical answer. Of course there would still be the need for local overview of the application of the national syllabus. Such a future committee would perform the very important roles of spreading good practice, professional teacher education, sharing resources and demonstrating the importance of inclusiveness and community cohesion – i.e. just working together. Each parent should be able to discover whether their own family beliefs are covered in what is provided, and be able to contribute belief resources if they are not. That would be the only way of making it fully inclusive.

    The discussion on the video raised many good points.

  3. […] for young people to be heard. For example, in February I had the opportunity to attend RE for Real: A consultation on what works and what needs to change, organised by Westminster Faith Debates. […]

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