News from the REC – June 2020

Following Rudi’s resignation as our CEO from 31st July to take up the post of CEO at the Independent School’s Association, I am delighted to announce that we have secured the services of Mike McMaster’s company Barnabas Consulting Ltd to take charge of the day-to-day running of the REC until the end of March 2021. Mike will be acting as the REC’s Interim Executive Officer and will be working closely with Joshua O’Loughlin, the REC’s Communications and Executive Assistant. Mike is well-known in the RE world having served as Business Development Director at RE Today for five years. He has over 25 years’ experience of working in a variety of business contexts.

From 15th June, Mike can be contacted at and  Joshua can be contacted at

Rudi is now on furlough. My tribute to Rudi given at the AGM on May 7th can be found here.

The REC Board is now entering a period of strategic review that will be facilitated by Hilary Topp. Hilary too is well-known amongst the RE community for her wisdom and insight in leading a review process. The Board is looking forward to the opportunity of this period of transition to undertaking a back-to-first-principles look at the structure and work of the REC.

In the meantime we will be pressing ahead with building on the ground-breaking Commission on RE Final Report. The current project, focusing on the notion of worldview in RE, is progressing well. The literature review is now finished and our team of 13 senior academics is in process of reviewing the potential contributions of the worldview concept to pupils’ understanding in RE. They will complete their work by the end of June. The final stage of the project will happen in the autumn when all REC members will be asked to consider the outputs from the previous stages. These will include the literature review and a number of tailored outputs authored by Amira Tharani. The goal of this stage is to map a number of different ways in which the worldview concept can contribute to RE in the variety of school contexts that exist in England and Wales.

The REC is also preparing a bid for a follow-up project that will provide guidance for syllabus writers in SACREs, academies, dioceses other religious contexts and independent schools. The recent tendering process for this work resulted in four excellent bids. I am pleased to announce that the bid from REToday Services was selected following a rigorous assessment process. It was a difficult decision and we are grateful to the unsuccessful bidders for the hard work they put in to preparing their very attractive bids. More news on this project will follow in due course.

Trevor Cooling

Chair, Religious Education Council of England and Wales