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 but online during the pandemic. Hosts eminent speakers including government ministers and receives feedback from members. Venues are provided by member organisations or others and have included the Zoroastrian Centre in Harrow, The London Muslim Centre, Whitechapel, the Jewish Museum, Camden Town. Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple), Kagyu Samye Dzong and the 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, papers and advisory booklets; for example, A practice code for teachers of RE.
- Acted 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. Other people are contracted as needed to carry out work in specialist areas such as the RE Quality Mark and website related activity.
Vision, Mission and Values
Every young person experiences an academically rigorous and personally inspiring education in religion and worldviews.
The REC campaigns and advocates for a high quality education in religion and worldviews for every young person.
Collaboration – our mission will be achieved if we work together and share our skills and experience.
Mutual respect – our mission will be achieved if we recognise and value our diversity of beliefs and approaches.
Critical engagement – our mission will be achieved if we engage critically with the subject and encourage debate.
Our impact areas:
We will achieve our mission by:
1. Campaigning and advocating for high quality education in religion and worldviews
2. Building thriving relationships within the REC
3. Creating a fit for purpose and sustainable REC
The REC will campaign for policy change at a national level, helping to shape thinking and promoting a new vision for the subject. At the same time we will work to build capacity within our membership, encouraging collaboration, inviting member organisations to be part of our campaigns, and strengthening our collective voice and impact.