What we do and do not fund

What we fund

What we do not fund

  • Deficit reduction or building projects
  • Projects outside the UK
  • Religious proselytising or instruction
  • The purchase of teaching resources for schools
  • RE or SMSC programmes delivered by external groups visiting schools

Please note that these five categories are outside the Culham St Gabriel’s grants strategy and will not be considered.


All applications are asked to justify their project in terms of one or more of the following grant priorities:

1. The Trust’s first priority is RE. We aim to advance and promote excellence in the teaching of RE for children and young people in schools. Our RE priority has two focuses:

  • Policy and Infrastructure: To enable key partners to strengthen RE’s policy platform, funding base, and infrastructure in support of high quality teaching and learning. (This might, for example, involve enabling change in RE, through engaging stakeholders, lobbying, and development of policy proposals; or representing the RE community to government or media;
  • Teachers’ CPD and Research: To enhance and promote a comprehensive and coherent professional development and research offer to all RE teachers, with a clear impact on raising standards. (This might, for example, involve creating professional development opportunities in RE, focused on raising standards through better subject knowledge, pedagogical understanding, curriculum design, or assessment; or promoting research in RE, by supporting individual researchers, strengthening institutional research capacity, and deepening research-practice links

2. The Trust’s subsidiary priority is spiritual and moral development. This priority has one focus:

  • To develop key strategic approaches to spiritual and moral dimensions of school ethos and leadership, through research, training or networks (this might, for example, involve training school middle and senior leaders on promoting spiritual development, ethos, and values, or a research project on leadership and vision for spiritual and moral development).

For each priority, the trust places a particular emphasis on the importance of dissemination, collaboration and partnership, and is also interested to learn how a project can be helped to become self-sustaining.


Culham St Gabriel’s will evaluate your application using the following criteria:


Does the project have a practical or policy application to rigorous, innovative teaching or curriculum enrichment in UK schools, related to RE, school worship, spiritual and moral development, school leadership or ethos?


Does the applicant individual or organisation have the knowledge, expertise, commitment and judgement to deliver the project? Is the application supported by two referees not connected to the project?


Does the proposal include plans for the project to have positive impact on learning and teaching or policy? How well is this impact defined and prepared for?

See our Impact Statement PDF for more guidance on this.


Does the proposal include clear plans for spreading and embedding good practice in and beyond one institution? Do the plans include a strong commitment to collaboration, partnership and dissemination of excellence?

Value for money

Ought the funding to support the proposal be coming from local or central government, or from the applicant’s faith/belief community? Is the amount requested broken down into budgeted detail? Is the amount justifiable when compared with the number of teachers and/or learners affected?

Success and sustainability

Does the project have a clear definition of success? For corporate applications, can the project continue independently after funding?


Culham St Gabriel’s provides individual and corporate grants to support research, development and innovation in RE in the UK.

Case Study 1: RE for Real: What do pupils really need to learn about religion and belief in UK schools? (Goldsmiths University Faiths and Civil Society Unit) 

We are delighted to have supported RE for Real, a project that used reflective analysis and interviews with employers, parents, governors and pupils to discover their views about what school leavers need to know about religion and belief within modern society and how this relates to current educational policy.  The project built on the Religious Education Council’s A Review of Religious Education in England (2013) and has been instrumental in providing a new evidence-base to support and facilitate continuing national discussions. In 2015 the project report, RE for Real: the future of teaching and learning about religion and belief  , was published. We believe this report has big implications for the ways in which content is planned in RE, for pedagogical approaches and for the legal settlement and structures around the subject.  It has made a valuable evidence based contribution to RE policy discussions and will play an important role in the forthcoming commission to investigate the current legal settlement for RE .


Case Study 2: Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (Schools Linking)

Most people will agree that Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) is complex! That’s why we greatly value the training approach taken by the Schools Linking project, helping school leaders and teachers to understand what SMSC is, how to look for it, how to evaluate its impact and how to talk about it with Ofsted. For many reasons, Ofsted is taking a closer look at SMSC and British values in its regular Section 5 inspections. We see the materials and training opportunities, the audits and analysis being developed by Schools Linking as crucial in helping schools to do it well. Their work with schools and local authorities is ongoing, and they hold regular CPD events for teachers and managers focused on leading outstanding SMSC.  View their website for more details: http://www.schoolslinking.org.uk.

The Schools Linking Network have recently told us:
“We still believe that this work can absolutely be at the heart of transforming a school in order for young people to thrive. School culture and ethos and SMSC cannot be an afterthought. Having said this people can do exceptional work without naming it as SMSC but either way they can have a profound impact on pupils. We want to thank Culham St Gabriel’s for the way that your funding has allowed us to work with the problem identified with freedom and creativity. We feel that we have been enabled us to do a very thoughtful piece of work in which we could really work with what we have found is needed. We do feel that your grant has given us tremendous freedom to innovate and to reach out to do really meaningful pieces of work with schools in complex challenging circumstance. The funding has meant that we have had scope to really take time and think. Please convey our thanks to your trustees.”

Case Study 3: RE Quality Mark

Culham St Gabriel’s has contributed to the funding of the RE Quality Mark (http://www.reqm.org), which has been developed to celebrate and spread high quality religious education. It is an accreditation system designed for whole school RE improvement through the assessment of five key strands: learners and learning, teachers and teaching, curriculum, subject leadership and professional development. It is available to all schools. We feel the RQM provides a vital framework for capturing and celebrating good practice while also highlighting areas for improvement. Working nationally, the project has had significant impact on RE, improving practice and raising the profile of the subject in schools across the country.


Case Study 4: The RE-searchers

We are extremely pleased to have been able to fund the RE-searchers project. This resource, produced by Giles Freathy, Rob Freathy, Jonathan Doney, Karen Walshe and Geoff Teece, presents a new approach to RE in primary schools. Through the use of cartoon characters to make it accessible to young children, the RE-searchers approach encourages pupils to think about the significance and effectiveness of different methodologies and methods of enquiry in RE. This is an exciting and significant development with wide ranging implications for the way teachers approach RE at primary level and think about assessment.


Case Study 5: RE and Counter Radicalisation

With discourses on British values, the Prevent agenda and radicalisation in schools dominating both the political agenda and the media at the moment, there are significant implications for RE and the role the subject should play in the debate. We are, therefore, delighted to be supporting research into RE and counter radicalisation and are currently funding Masters work on British Values and the RE curriculum, a doctorate focused on anti-extremist policy and Muslim student identity, and a doctorate looking at SMSC and Prevent. We feel these projects have the potential for having significant impact on the shape of the anti-radicalisation debate and RE at a national policy level.


Case Study 6: Understanding Christianity

We are delighted to see the launch of the Understanding Christianity materials at www.understandingchristianity.org.uk . Understanding Christianity is a substantial resource aimed at supporting RE teachers’ work in teaching about Christianity. We supported the project with a significant grant because of our commitment to excellence in RE, in the context to teaching and learning about religious and non-religious world views. We are very pleased to be hosting the materials on RE:Online. Warm congratulations to the RE Today writing team who produced and trialled this tremendous resource. We see the Understanding Christianity materials as a crucial means to raising standards in RE through an new approach based on engagement with theological concepts. We recognise the difference these materials and the training can make to teaching and learning in RE as a whole. We welcome the training events and would encourage all RE colleagues, in church and community schools alike, to consider what can be learnt from them.