Wed 10th May 2017

Evidence gathering session to be held in Exeter: 20 June

The Commission on Religious Education has been established to review the legal, education and policy frameworks for Religious Education, by a wide-ranging, inclusive and evidence-based process designed to inform policy makers about these areas.  The ultimate aim will be to improve the quality and rigour of religious education and its capacity to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain. The Commissioners are keen to consult widely before drawing any conclusion.  There will therefore be a number of sessions where Commissioners hope to hear from those with an interest in RE.  Please see the report from the first evidence gathering session held in Westminster here.

There will be an evidence gathering session be on Tuesday 20 June 2017 at St Luke’s Campus, University of Exeter in room G18 in the Medical School Building.  The aim of the meeting is to give people an opportunity to make their views known on Religious Education in schools and colleges for young people up to the age of nineteen. Exeter St David’s station is about 30 minutes-walk and Exeter Central Station approximately 20 minutes-walk from the St Luke’s Campus. Taxis are available from both stations. The D and the H buses stop outside St David’s and Central Stations and both these will take you to St Luke’s Campus.

For directions to St Luke’s campus, please see here.  For St Luke’s campus map, please see here.  G18 is in the Medical School Building, listed as no.8 on this map. There are signs on campus.  For parking information please see here.

The room will be open from 2.00pm.  There will be a session from 2.30pm to 4.30pm when experts invited by the commissioners will give evidence followed by a session from 5.00 – 7.00pm when members of the public can give a seven-minute presentation to the panel of three or four commissioners.  Members of the public are welcome to observe both sessions.  Spaces for members of the public to present evidence will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, as places are limited. If you wish to make a presentation, please apply to Jon Reynolds at evidence@commissiononre.org.uk.

We hope that you will illustrate your responses with reference to your own work, observations and experiences over the years, and to the work, observations and experiences of any organisations of which you are a member.

You are welcome to write to the Commission, either before the day or after the day. It would be helpful to have a copy of your notes or presentation in advance: sharing these a week in advance will give commissioners more time to consider your evidence and prepare relevant questions. The postal address for correspondence is: Commission on Religious Education, CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London N1 6AH or you can contact us via email at evidence@commissiononre.org.uk.

We would remind you of the remit from the terms of reference for the Commission:

  • To consider the nature, purposes, and scope of religious education.
  • To identify the enabling factors that currently promote high quality RE, and the barriers that currently limit it.
  • To identify what changes are needed to ensure the highest quality provision of RE.
  • To ensure that recommendations focus on realistic and specific proposals aimed at both immediate and long-term implementation in the context of continuing educational reform.

You may also wish to consider the following questions from our Call for Evidence:

  • What should be included in the scope and content of RE?
  • What changes (if any) should there be to the current legal framework for RE?
  • Should there be a common baseline entitlement for RE which applies to all types of school?
  • How should the development of RE standards, curricula, or syllabuses be best organised?
  • Are there changes to primary and secondary teacher education that could improve the delivery of high quality RE?
  • What factors lead to high quality learning and teaching in RE, and what are the main obstacles to this?

You are at complete liberty to address only those issues above which most concern you or in which you have expertise. You are equally at liberty to address an issue not mentioned above.

Please refer to the Commission website before planning any presentation.

Please email Jon Reynolds, Project Manager for the Commission on RE, at evidence@commissiononre.org.uk if you wish to give evidence or attend the session as an observer, to give us an idea of numbers and for security reasons.