• UCL Twitter account
  • UCL YouTube channel
  • UCL Facebook page
  • UCL SoundCloud channel
  • UCL iTunes store

Information for Staff


Select dates to view past and future events

17:30 - 19:00 18 February 2016

Where ignorant armies clash by night: A critical examination of the politics of religious education.


Room 790 | UCL Institute of Education (link Map)
20 Bedford Way | London | WC1H 0AL | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Dr Mark Chater, , is Director of Culham St Gabriel's Trust, an independent charity committed to excellence in Religious Education through research, development and innovation. Dr Chater is a Theology graduate, and was a teacher of RE for ten years, before becoming a teacher trainer, researcher and civil servant. As senior adviser in the then Qualifications & Curriculum Authority (20016-10) Dr Chater was responsible for national policy on RE and spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

What do we, as a nation, expect our young people to know and understand about religion and belief? How can we ensure that they are achieving this? The intensity of debate around these concerns is shown in three major RE reports, published in the last year alone. The answers are both educationally and politically important.

Drawing on these reports and other sources, including Ofsted inspection evidence, ethnographic studies of RE teachers, and policy papers, this seminar will present and analyse the landscape of RE practice. It will claim that policy discourse – social cohesion, the Prevent duty and ‘British Values’ – has become a contested locus, a 'darkling plain ... where ignorant armies clash by night'. The talk will additionally argue that, pursuant to new developments in RE practice, the 1944 and 1988 policy settlements for RE are now unjustifiable. Dr. Chater will conclude by making a set of policy proposals.


William Nicholas
+44 (0) 207 612 6423 | creme@ioe.ac.uk


Further information