Agenda item


Linda Rudge, Project Director, will provide Members with an update and future plans for the LearnTeachLead RE Project.


Linda Rudge, Project Director of Learn, Teach Lead RE, provided members with a progress report. 


Members were advised that –



the project was a learning partnership project for Religious Education (RE) with a focus on creating a community of enquiry and professional development across the south west peninsula;



the original intention was to support and enhance RE in the south west, boosting provision from Local Authorities, SACREs, teacher training providers, Diocesan Boards of Education and schools;



the ‘unmet needs’ of RE teachers were identified and prioritised in the bid for funds;



the project was launched in October 2012, through funding in excess of £100,00, for a three year period, from the St Luke’s College Foundation;



the funding ensured that Continual Professional Development (CPD) was enjoyed by an increased number of teachers, and was available free of charge for state funded primary and secondary schools;



2015 was the third full year of the programme;



there were 14 Project Leaders of RE (PLREs), leading eight hubs;



there was scope (if funding allowed) for the formation of other PLREs in north east Cornwall and mid/east Devon;



there was a current recruitment drive for more PLREs in Torbay (primary) and South Devon (secondary);



termly hub meetings (affiliated to NATRE) were generating attendance levels of between 15 and 40;



the 2014 Conference (held at St Mellion Resort) was attended by over 100 delegates;



PLRE training in January had focused on interfaith dialogue and ‘Promoting religious understanding through RE’;



information regarding termly hub meetings and venues was posted on the website and sent to schools through partnership networks and by PLREs.  Meetings were usually held in twilight sessions with a change of venue;



some hubs used a newsletter compiled by the PLREs to keep people in touch between meetings;



PLREs received regular updates from the Project Director;


reports of meetings were added to the website;



agendas this term would share training from the conference and the first training day, as well as addressing local needs;



PLREs had benefitted from their training and increased confidence in their subject leadership in addition to sharing their own expertise locally, regionally and nationally;



Gill Tewkesbury (North Devon Primary Hub Leader) was now an SLE and had won a Hockerill prize (in recognition of innovative teaching in RE), and a Farmington Fellowship (for teachers of Religious Education in UK secondary schools, primary school RE Co-ordinators or other primary school teachers involved in teaching RE, and teachers of children with Special Educational Needs who are involved with RE.  Headteachers who wish to undertake research into either Religious Education or Values Education are also eligible to apply.  Applicants should have had at least two years in their present post);



Katie Freeman (Plymouth Primary Hub Leader) was now an SLE (Specialist Leader in Education) and had recently had an article published in ‘RE Today’;



other SLEs were Giles Freathy (West Cornwall hub) and Corrine Price (South Devon/Torbay hub);



funding was available from various sources –


·         The St Luke’s College Foundation;

·         SACREs, Local Authorities and teaching schools;

·         Culham St Gabriel;

·         The Jerusalem Trust;



the success of LTLRE was underpinned by its commitment to teacher development, the effective development and leadership of PLREs and its fundamental commitment to educational research, encouraging innovation to improve classroom practice;



there were certain ‘non-negotiable’ principles which underpinned the project’s pedagogical model –


·         collaboration between recognised CPD partners, universities and Local Authorities through research and professional development to address identified unmet CPD needs;


·         the creation of a community of learning giving teachers and Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) the ability to improve their practice;



the Steering Group membership consisted of 


·         Exeter Diocesan Board of Education: Tatiana Wilson

·         Truro Diocesan Board of Education: Irene Pooley

·         Cornwall LA/SACRE: David Hampshire

·         Devon LA/SACRE and NATRE: Ed Pawson

·         Torbay LA/SACRE: tbc

·         Plymouth LA/SACRE:  Jonathan Marshall MBE

·         University of Exeter: Dr Karen Walshe

·         University of St Mark and St John:  Dr Karen Stockham

·         Teacher representative (St Luke’s Foundation): Giles Freathy (Specialist Leader in Education)

·         St Luke’s College Foundation (Trustees): Dick Powell

·         Project Director: Linda Rudge

·         PLRE representation is by standing invitation

·         Internal evaluator to the project: Dr Barbara Wintersgill, former HMI

·         External evaluator: Dr John Gay, Oxford University;



there were plans in place to extend membership of the Steering Group to include Chairs of SACREs (or a nominated member from Group A, C or D) and senior representatives from Teaching Schools;



the next two meetings of the Steering Group were planned for 3 March (Saltash) and 4 June (Torbay or Exeter);



St Luke’s Trustees had already agreed to fund a fourth annual conference in October 2015.   The venue and date were yet to be confirmed, but provisional dates were 15 and 16 October at Dartington Hall, near Totnes.  Further details would be available on the website and sent through school mailings.  Enrolment would begin after Easter, and was usually oversubscribed.  The theme this year would be linked to spiritual development and creativity across the curriculum.


The Chair thanked Linda Rudge for her presentation.