header image
Home arrow News arrow Latest News arrow Latest News arrow New Year Message
New Year Message Print E-mail

New Year message from the REC chair

There's much to rejoice over during the year past regarding RE, especially student achievement, teacher job satisfaction and the abundance of good practice.  There's also much about which to be anxious, as the economies of the new government and any impact its educational policies may have on RE.


Response from Secretary of State to REC letter regarding RE in the Importance of Teaching White Paper

The Minister Nick Gibb has re-iterated government assurance that the statutory position of RE in all schools will be maintained. Discussion of any of the specific uncertainties which the REC and member organisations have identified is promised in an imminent REC officers meeting with him.

National Celebration of RE in March

Events already in place for this month-long celebration continue to multiply, as can be seen from the website:  www.celebratingre.org . A high profile launch at Westminster is planned for March 1st along with a succession of other large and smaller scale events all over England and Wales throughout the month. There's still opportunity for more to be arranged by individual schools, colleges, community centres, places of worship and SACREs. Competition entries are coming in.  Please encourage participation of all kinds whether at local, regional or national level.

PR campaign with MPs and Lords

Other consciousness raising regarding RE is under way, spearheaded by the REC public relations sub group working with 3:nine Communications, a PR company. It is presently focussed on MPs and members of the House of Lords and includes meetings with individuals from both Houses, parliamentary questions and early day motions, and invitation seminars. Away from Westminster, there is still scope for invitations to be sent to local MPs ,lords, local dignitaries and elected members of local councils  to be present at any of the events during the Celebration month.


The roll out of the REsilience programme to schools started slowly because of limits put on direct advertising of government funded activities; however, schools are now enrolling in greater numbers.  Arrangements for mentor visits to schools are now under way throughout both England and Wales. It is not too late for other secondary schools and academies to sign up by following the procedures on the website: www.re-silience.org.uk.

Honouring John Keast

Amongst those listed for a New Year's Honour is John Keast. John is presently the REC Partnership Officer and is honoured with an OBE. This is for his long service with and for the RE community as classroom teacher, local authority adviser, QCA professional officer and latterly DfES national adviser for RE. Amongst his many distinguished contributions are his part in the development of the National Framework for RE and of the Council of Europe reference book on Religious Diversity and Intercultural Education. The REC officers and board congratulate John and look forward to his continuing involvement with RE and the REC for many years to come.

Re-location from London Bridge to Old Bailey

The novelty, for the first time in its history, of the RE Council having a working office base for the last two years has been the more enjoyable because of its Thames-side location at 1 London Bridge. Unhappily, the termination of the lease to Community Action Network of Third Sector organisations has required them all to relocate. The REC is now temporarily installed at the Voluntary Charities Centre, Hillgate House, 26 Old Bailey, LONDON EC4M 7HQ.  Happily REC administrator Naomi Dalton is there with the new phone number of 0207 332 2654.

A final request

Gratitude, generosity and hopefulness are each qualities that are intrinsic to the religious beliefs and world views shared by the REC's member organisations. They are also intrinsic to good education. Let's continue to work together in ways that will enhance their realisation at every level.

Brian Gates

<Previous   Next>
Religious Days
for England and Wales
Christian: Ash Wednesday
March 09, 2011

Zoroastrian: Farvardigun
March 10, 2011

St Patrick's Day
March 17, 2011

Japanese: Shunbun No Hi
March 18, 2011

View Full Calendar
REC Newsletter

Click here to subscribe to the REC Newsletter!


Member Body
Registered Charity No: 1116543. Company limited by guarantee no 5907308. Registered in England Copyright © 2006 -2011 Religious Education Council of England and Wales. All rights reserved!.