Excellent RE for pupils in all schools, underpinned by a new legal basis, positive policy priorities, public understanding, and effective structures; and enriched by accessible, high-quality professional development and research opportunities for teachers, trainers and developers of RE.
In schools, universities, and the policy environment, the outlook for RE remains uncertain. Demographic change, policy priorities, tight budgets, and educational reform have placed RE in an anomalous and vulnerable position that requires bold strategic thinking and cooperative effort. The challenges include understanding the educational purpose of RE, subject knowledge, pedagogical development, research, and policy.
We are half way through our four-year Strategic Plan (2016-20). Under Strategic Objective 1, the Trust notes the significant but incomplete progress made in Policy, PR and funder collaboration, and the limited progress in infrastructure reform. There is a clear need to enable RE organisations to follow through on the policy process in a way that amplifies and unifies the professional teacher voice, supported by smarter joined-up work by funders. There is also a clear need to link this support to some more accelerated conversations about RE infrastructure in order to promote unity, efficiency and sustainability in RE organisations.
Under Strategic Objective 2, we celebrate the successes of the research strategy, Email a Believer, and the conference strategy; we can draw lessons from the slow take-up of TREC, 3forRE, and networking microgrants. We will maintain our support for these vital, high-quality elements of CPD provision, while reviewing RE:Online and doing more to link everyone to CPD and research together in the infrastructure.
In accordance with our charitable objects, guided by our Christian and Church of England commitment, and taking into account our context, in 2018-20 we intend to:
- Support an inclusive reform process to RE’s legal and policy basis, public understanding, and infrastructure, securing a firm basis for high standards;
- Enable individual teachers to access high-quality training, professional development and research opportunities, securing improvements in the depth of pupils’ and teachers’ understanding of religion and belief.
CSTG will work through systemic support, mutual challenge, collaborative leadership, and partnership with key organisations.
 CSTG’s key partners are: the Church of England Education Office (National Society); the RE Council; and RE Today with the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE).