The Religious Education Council of England and Wales was established in 1973 to represent the collective interests of a wide variety of professional associations and faith communities in deepening and strengthening provision for religious education.
It provides a multi-faith forum where national organisations with an interest in supporting and promoting religious education in schools and colleges can share matters of common concern.
The Religious Education Council:
- Exists to explore and clarify the scope of religious education in schools and its relationship to other areas of the curriculum. It aims to facilitate joint involvement in decision and policy making at national level and to provide a means of communication between member bodies, offering opportunities to share ideas and learn from each other.
- Meets in full Council twice a year, usually in London, with eminent speakers including government ministers and feedback from members. Venues are provided by member organisations or others and have included Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple) and Kagyu Samye Dzong London Tibetan Buddhist Centre.
- Draws its membership from national organisations which have an active interest in RE, including those for RE professionals and for faith and belief bodies. All organisations which support the aims of the REC are welcome to apply for membership.
- Has an executive board of volunteers elected or co-opted from its members, consisting of a chair, deputy chair, secretary, treasurer and representatives from a cross-section of member organisations.
- Publishes occasional reports and advisory booklets; for example, A practice code for teachers of RE.
- Acts as the secretariat for the Commission on Religious Education
- Has led the Beyond the Ordinary Teacher Recruitment Campaign to address the shortage of secondary RE specialists and encourage undergraduates and career changers to consider RE teaching as a career option.
- Attends political party conferences, ensuring parliamentarians are kept informed about its latest work and campaigns, and continuing to highlight the importance of a high-quality, rigorous religious education for young people, taught by RE specialists.
- Works with government, the media, parents and children, teachers and governors, members of faith and belief communities, to champion religious education and raise awareness of its value in the education of all young people.
Click to download the Religious Education Council's Articles of Association.
How the REC Works
The REC works with and through its member bodies to champion RE. The REC Board sets the direction of policy on behalf of the Council. It does so with support from four committees. Day to day work is carried out by two full-time employees and two part-time employees. Other people are contracted as needed to carry out work in specialist areas such as PR and website related activity.
Vision, Values and Aims
VISION: Every young person experiences an academically rigorous and personally inspiring education in religions and non-religious worldviews.
VALUES: Being an organisation with diverse membership, the REC seeks to work in a way that embodies values of co-operation, collaboration, openness, integrity, mutual respect and critical engagement.
AIMS: Working with and through its member bodies, the RE Council seeks to:
- Be a clear national voice for the advocacy, support and improvement of RE
- Promote the highest possible standards of RE in all schools, in all colleges and in teacher education
- Influence policy proactively with government and other national and international bodies
- Promote a positive public understanding of RE and its value to young people and wider society
- Represent at a strategic level the collective interests of its member bodies in relation to RE
- To promote high quality teaching, learning and assessment in RE
- To influence the development of public policy to encourage and support high quality RE
- To enhance public understanding of RE and its value to young people and wider society
- To secure effective structures and operation for the REC
- To secure adequate and sustainable resources for the REC