The Executive comprises the four elected honorary officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary, and eight other people elected by member SACREs at the annual meeting. The Executive has the power to co-opt up to three additional people. Also in attendance is the immediate past Chair, acting as Executive Assistant.
The Executive is responsible for policy and planning of events and activities in fulfilment of the aims of the association. It meets each term to plan events and discuss policy and operational issues as they arise.
Members of the executive for the year 2018-19 are:
Chair: Paul Smalley
Paul is a Senior Lecturer in Religious Education at Edge Hill University where he leads the Undergraduate Secondary RE course and contributes to the PGCE programme. He previously taught in high schools in West Yorkshire, Wigan and Halton for 12 years, being both Head of Department and Head of Year. A member of Halton SACRE since 2001, he is now vice-chair. He also provides support to RE teachers through work with Culham St Gabriel’s.
Vice Chair: Robert Morgan
When I am not working as a lecturer, training primary trainee teachers at the University of Greenwich, I am volunteering at Royal Borough of Greenwich’s SACRE and ASC as a member of Committee C. I am Vice Chair of the SACRE and the Chair of the RBG Agreed Syllabus Conference. I have been a member of SACRE since 2014. I think this enables me to see all perspectives and to look for ways of improving pedagogy. In my spare time I like to read a lot and run and train for half marathons. I like sports, especially rugby, football and cricket. I think reading is a healthy way of trying to come to terms with political and religious events in the world and the better informed we all are as citizens of a diverse country, then the brighter the future for everyone.
Secretary: Sue Holmes
Sue grew up in London before moving North in 1985. She is a cancer research scientist turned primary teacher, advisory teacher turned consultant. Previously an RE adviser for the local authority and the diocese, Sue is now an independent consultant. She has wide-ranging education experience, both in and out of the classroom. Previously a SIAMS inspector, lecturing at Hull University for B.Ed and PGCE courses, Sue is currently an REQM assessor. She chairs the local Church-School Trust and is on the Hull and East Riding Interfaith Committee. Sue weaves aspects of her personal passion - nurturing young people’s spirituality through the environment - into RE whenever she can, and as a volunteer for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. She has long-standing links with a faith school in Kenya, and is a regular volunteer with the local ecumenical Horseracing Chaplaincy team.
Treasurer: Michael Metcalf
Michael is one of the Church of England representatives on Group B of Staffordshire SACRE, and its elected Chair since about 2001. He is a retired priest and educationist, and a Prebendary (Emeritus) of Lichfield Cathedral.
His earlier posts include Head of Religious Studies and Senior Lecturer in a teacher training college, and Director of Education for Lichfield Diocese; he was an Open University tutor for 17 years on The Religious Quest course.
Married with one son, one daughter, and one son-in-law. Treasurer of NASACRE since its beginning, he currently also represents NASACRE on the Inter Faith Network (UK), and convenes the Awards Panel for SACRE Projects for Young People (the Westhill/NASACRE Awards).
Though American, Elizabeth has lived in the UK for over a decade. Semi-retired now, she is a librarian by profession, but has also been a teacher; she currently works as a proofreader and editor. Elizabeth is an active member of the Baha'i community, and she assists the chaplaincy at the Royal Hampshire Hospital. She serves on Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton SACREs, supporting Youth Voice and serving on various sub-committees.
Sushma Sahajpal runs Connectar, a creative education consultancy supporting teachers with INSET, CPD, knowledge-rich resources and specially commissioned whole-school RE, Maths and SMSC enrichment events. An Oxford maths graduate with expert knowledge of the Dharmic (Indian) traditions, particularly Hinduism, Sushma provides specialist consultancy for RE syllabus writers, as well as faith and interfaith expertise for the BBC, RE:Online and other multi-faith organisations.
Sushma serves on Hampshire, Buckinghamshire and Dorset SACREs and has been an elected member of the NASACRE Exec for four years. Her special areas of interest on NASACRE have been organising the Annual Conferences and promoting collaborative links with other RE Organisations. Her current interests include strengthening collaborative partnerships between SACREs and supporting NASACREs ongoing development. A published author, her next writing project is a recently commissioned A level Hinduism textbook.
My background is perhaps a little different from other NASACRE Executive members..
Having retired from a senior management job in 2006, I became a local councillor in 2007 and later joined East Sussex County Council where I have chaired SACRE for 4 years. My focus with SACRE is to be proactive in promoting religious education which does not mean woolly ethical debates but real religious knowledge. I am a passionate believer that if you do not understand Christianity you cannot understand the history, literature, art and music of this country or indeed Europe. If you do not try to understand and engage with Islam and other religions and worldviews you cannot understand the modern world. These are vital messages we must promote.
Emily is a primary school Head teacher with a great passion for high quality RE, both in her own school and also in schools across her Local Authority and Diocese. She has also been an RE leader in three different schools across Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea. Currently, she chairs Westminster SACRE, which has just undertaken an Agreed Syllabus revision and is exploring ways to best support teachers so they feel confident in delivering excellent RE. Recently qualified as a SIAMS inspector, Emily is working closely with the London Diocese on its revised RE syllabus.
‘I believe that religious literacy is a crucial life skill for our children and young people to acquire, particularly in today’s world, and that schools have a responsibility to provide safe, open forums for pupils to explore both their own beliefs and practices, and those of their neighbour (both locally and globally).’
Claire currently works in Newham, leading professional development around RE, Collective Worship, SMSC, British Values, P4C and coaching.
‘As an advisory teacher, I have over 18 years’ experience, working in Essex, Redbridge and Newham. I have written and produced award-winning books for Harper Collins, John Murray and Christian Aid. Since 1995 I have been a member of SACREs in Essex, Redbridge and Newham in a variety of roles. ‘
I have just been elected as Senior Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Previously I was Vice President and Chair of the Community and Education division. I represent the Jewish voice on Cumbria SACRE. I have been speaking in schools about my faith and way of life for over 35 years, and my role on the Board of Deputies has allowed me to expand this outreach work. I am excited to be on the NASACRE Executive as a development officer. I look forward to working with the rest of the team to improve our effectiveness and that of all SACREs in these uncertain times when RE is being challenged as a fundamental core curriculum subject.
I am a member of Cornwall SACRE, and I am looking forward to working on the Executive committee. My background is in initial and continuing education of teachers, especially in RE. I have worked as a teacher, an LA adviser (Essex) and a university lecturer (UEA, Norwich). Most recently I have worked to establish the Learn Teach Lead RE networks in the south-west and the north of England, and I am also the project manager for the RE Quality Mark. My particular interests are in curriculum and professional development for RE.
Lesley worked as Adviser for RE in the London Borough of Hounslow from 1992 to 2010 and continues to support its SACRE . Since September 2010, she has been employed part time by the Diocese of London to support RE and Collective Worship in community schools. In that role, she currently advises a further eight SACREs in other parts of London.
Lesley also has extensive experience in Initial Teacher Training in RE in a variety of different contexts and is now based at the University of Roehampton for the rest of her time. She represents England on the European Forum of Teachers of RE (EFTRE) and is Chair of EFTRE. She is a member of the Shap Working Party on Education in World Religions and a range of other professional bodies, including the RE Council of England and Wales.
Philip Davies is Assistant Treasurer of NASACRE. He is a member of Northamptonshire and Peterborough SACREs.
From 1998-2013 he was Schools Officer and RE Adviser for the Diocese of Peterborough. He is Parish Priest to 6 villages in East Northamptonshire.
Following a degree in English & Theology from Southampton University, Denise taught in Middle, Junior and Secondary schools in Buckinghamshire & Hillingdon. She has since worked as an Adviser & Inspector with SACREs in many parts of London and currently supports the SACREs in Lewisham, Lambeth and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Denise works part time for Lewisham LA as their School Improvement Officer for community cohesion and RE and is a part time carer for her mother. She has previously served on the REC as a Board member, chairing the Celebrating RE Bi- National Festival in 2011 and is still a member of the REC's Professional Development Committee. Having served on NASACRE as Chair in the past, Denise is currently on the executive, working with special interest in SACRE training, the involvement of local communities and the SACRE Briefings.
Nasr Moussa Emam
I have achieved my Chaplaincy Certificate in 2003 from Markfield Institute of Higher Education (MIHE) and since I have been committed to be involved in Faith Sector and Community. I am the Chair of North Yorkshire SACRE for the last four years and a member since 2002. I have been working and liaise with many RE Consultants and Advisors like Lat Blaylock, to develop and deliver the North Yorkshire Agreed RE Syllabus especially for North Yorkshire. My work is around community issues and in the heart of the community in North Yorkshire, York and the Regional Area. I am the Muslim Chaplain for the NHS in Scarborough, Bridlington and Malton. I am also assisting the Chaplaincy at North Yorkshire Police and Hull University, Scarborough Campus. I am able to adapt my communication skills between Communities and Authorities and strive to provide a positive engaging environment and more of challenging for removing barriers. I would like to see more RE work in a community setting, i.e. Celebration of Cultural or Calendar Festivities as the Common Ground. Introduce Bilingual Education among the Faith Communities. I am looking forward to serve as an Executive Committee Member of NASACRE to help to bring better understanding among Faith Communities and schools. My commitment is my drive and I promise to be as effective as I could be.