What we fund
- Religious Education as a school curriculum subject
- Spiritual and moral development as a whole-school responsibility
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.
OUR GRANT PRIORITIES
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: Commission on RE
Culham St Gabriel’s is delighted to be a key supporter of the Commission on RE https://www.commissiononre.org.uk/final-report-religion-and-worldviews-the-way-forward-a-national-plan-for-re/ whose work we helped to fund in 2016-18. The Commission on RE was created in 2016 by the RE Council with a remit to review the legal, educational and policy frameworks for RE. Chaired by the Very Revd Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster and a former Chief Education Officer of the Church of England, the fourteen commissioners have worked for two years to generate proposals based on research and reflection.
Titled ‘Religion and Worldviews: the way forward, a national plan for RE’, the report addresses RE in England with evidence, reasoned interpretation and proposals of historic significance. Its three defining principles are particularly welcomed:
- A new vision for the subject, reflecting changes in patterns of belief in England since 1944, and made concrete in the new name – Religion & Worldviews.
- An entitlement to high quality teaching and learning in all schools, underpinned by a statutory national entitlement statement. Within that, schools would have flexibility to meet the entitlement in their own ways, guided by their ethos and trust deed.
- A significant investment in two supports: training for teachers to implement the new vision, and a reformed structure at local authority level.
Trustees see the report as a vitally important and urgent call to change, and we wish to work with partners to make the change happen.
Case Study 2: National and regional infrastructure
CSTG is also very pleased to be a supporter of the national and regional structure of ambassadors for RE, coordinated by the National Association of Teachers of RE (www.natre.org.uk). Like many, we have been concerned that the increasing weakness of local authority structures has created a vacuum of support for too many teachers of RE. By supporting this dynamic intervention we intend to ensure that high-quality continuing professional development reaches every primary and secondary RE person in England. The measures include:
- The appointment of one national RE networks ambassador and ten regional RE network ambassadors, working closely with existing NATRE, LTLRE and other networks, and creating new ones
- Financial support for one regional day conference per region per year
- Training opportunities for leaders of groups and networks
- ‘Primary 1000’, a new initiative to reach primary schools that have not yet benefitted from national RE opportunities
- Specialist communications and data expertise
We are also very pleased that the project will include a conference and support for primary RE initial teacher education, reflecting the Commission on RE recommendation on a minimum of 12 hours’ RE training for primary trainees.
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.
Case Study 7: Pilgrimage into Adult Life
The aim of this two-year project was to prepare young people for the transition from school into adult life. Th project was innovative in bringing together embodied and intellectual forms of engagement and encouraging the development of skills involved in moral decision making and spiritual enquiry. It invested time in the depth and quality of character of participants, beginning with where students already were and taking them on a journey, exploring their relationship to the transcendent and the divine by addressing questions about the nature of human flourishing in contemporary society.
The main output of this project was a film which is now available to view here: http://www.clairehendersondavis.com/lament The film premiere was held as part of a day conference in June 2019. The Executive Headteacher of a Sixth Form College involved with the programme spoke about the visionary nature of the project. She spoke of how experiences for students enabled reflection, challenge, exploration of relationships, current affairs, vocation, hopes, dreams and fears to be explored in a safe and supportive environment.