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About us
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Meet the Executive
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The Association of Teachers of Catholic Religious Education (ATCRE) aims to be the principal national body promoting professional development and networking for religious education teachers working in Catholic schools.

'As ATCRE has grown so has our executive. We started with a core group of four and now we are 24. The executive is representative of many areas of Catholic education, helping to ensure a balance and a strong coalition to serve teachers of Catholic RE in England and Wales.'

Matthew Dell 
 
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Helen Bridges

Co-Chair

 

Helen graduated from Durham University with a degree in Theology, before training as a teacher at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. She has been teaching in Catholic secondary schools for the last ten years as teacher, Head of Department and more recently overseeing the Catholic life of the school on the Leadership Team.

Helen completed an MBA in Education Management at Kings College London, in which she explored the challenges of enabling holistic Catholic education in schools. In May 2023 Helen launched Magister Resources, a business which provides digital teaching resources for RE teachers in Catholic schools, linked to the Religious Education Directory.

Dave Legrand

Co-Chair ​

David is a Secondary teacher in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. After graduating from Durham University in 2012, David completed a PGCE in Secondary RE at St Mary's University in Twickenham. David taught at St Peter's, Guildford for three years, where he developed a passion and specialism for A level Religious Studies and took on roles as Key Stage 5 coordinator and Second in Department.  He later moved to Salesian, Chertsey to become Head of Department, where he is currently doing his fourth year in the role. 

 

In addition to his departmental role, David is the RE tutor for Teach SouthEast. As well as developing new teachers through practical and theoretical training sessions, this role takes David to many schools in the diocese to observe lessons and support mentors and new RE teachers.

Barbara Meaney

Secretary

 

Barbara is the current head of Upper School and Religious Education in St. Edward’s Royal Free Ecumenical Middle School in Windsor (Portsmouth Diocese). Following a career in nursing, Barbara completed an Open University Honours Degree whilst on night duty which enabled her to complete her graduate teaching programme at Holy Family Catholic Primary School in 2002. She has worked in several Catholic primary schools, always taking the lead on Religious Education, amongst other curriculum areas.

 

Barbara is passionate about sharing her love of religion and is a long standing member of RBWM SACRE, currently working with the Pan Berkshire Hub on a project connected to Westhill grants and frequently shares her passion with other teachers through diocesan meetings and training as well as within her home Parish (Northampton Diocese).

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Jennifer Rowlands
Phil Gray

Treasurer

Jennifer graduated with a degree in Theology and Religious Studies from Durham University. She completed her PGCE at Manchester Metropolitan University and has recently finished a Masters in Catholic Leadership at St Mary's Twickenham, where her dissertation focus was the implementation of an environment policy in a Catholic school. Jennifer began her teaching career in Milton Keynes, where she also worked as an RE subject tutor for the Tommy Flowers SCITT. She was later appointed as Head of RE and PSHE at a community school in St Helens. She is currently Head of RE at Bellerive FCJ Catholic College in Liverpool.

 

Jennifer has a particular interest in developing a passion for Justice and Peace in young people. She is a member of the Liverpool Archdiocese Justice and Peace Commission.

Conference Secretary

Phil is a graduate of the University of Durham where he read Philosophy and Theology before obtaining his PGCE from Newman University.  He has been a secondary religious education teacher in Birmingham and Warwickshire for over a decade where he has been Head of Faculty in two schools and been seconded to support colleagues in a third partnership school. 

 

During this time he has also been the Person in Charge of the Catholic Life of the School (PiCCL), a school governor, A Level examiner, guested lectured for PGCE courses and been a PGCE/NQT Subject and Professional Mentor.  Phil is a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and an alumnus of Ambition Institute. 

David Bayne

Communications

 

David has recently retired as Head of Sixth Form at a school in the North East. He has been teaching for 20 years and has had a number of pastoral roles. Prior to teaching, David worked in the Department for Education in a variety of roles from computer programmer, IT support and was a part of the team that created the General Teaching Council. He has a keen interest in the use of technology to enhance the engagement and learning of students. 

 

David graduated from the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham where he studied Divinity whilst working at the DfE. He has taught across all secondary key stages. He has contributed to RE PGCE courses on the use of IT in RE and delivered training across a number of schools on the implementation of learning platforms.

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Matthew Dell
Andy Lewis 
Gratton Mulcrow

Matthew Dell is a senior lecturer at St Mary’s University (Twickenham), for Secondary RE. He leads on the RE PGCE programme as well as teaching on various MA in Education programmes.  Prior to taking up this post Matthew worked for twenty-five years as an RE teacher in three different schools. He has extensive experience in schools; in teaching RE, leading very successful RE Departments and as well as senior leadership positions in Catholic schools. 

 

Matthew has been a diocesan inspector for over 24 years and has inspected in four Catholic dioceses. Matthew’s recent Farmington Fellowship (at Oxford) allowed him to investigate issues and concerns about RE ITT via the SCITT route.  In recent years he has been collaborating with colleagues to create a new professional association for those who teach RE in Catholic schools (ATCRE).

Andy has been teaching RE for 14  years, and is currently Deputy Headteacher at St Bonaventure's in East London.

 

He works at a local and national level to improve the provision of Religious Education, and is both  Director of the Agnus Dei Teaching School Alliance and Director of RE.

 

Andy is a Specialist Leader in Education and has published books ranging from textbooks and revision material for the 2016 Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies specification, through to Key Stage 3 and General RE.

Gratton has been a RE teacher in eight diocesan schools in Birmingham. He has had various positions of leadership within these schools including Head of RE, Head of Sixth Form, Assistant Head, Deputy Head, PICCL. Gratton worked for four years as an educational consultancy with ASDAN Education with a strong focus on meta-cognitive approaches to learning, including two years as Midlands Regional Manager and co-writing the Beliefs and Values short course.  

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Hannah Coe
David Bayliss
Gareth Rein

Hannah graduated from Edge Hill University as a Qualified Teacher specialising in Religious Education. Taking a role of Teacher of Religious Education at The Becket School, Nottingham, Hannah has remained there for seven years. Hannah has undertaken various roles during this time, including Pastoral Leader, Head of Religious Education and Associate Assistant Headteacher. Hannah continues the lead the Religious Education Department and serves as the Secondary RE Coordinator for two Catholic Multi-Academy Trusts in the Diocese of Nottingham. Hannah is also a Specialist Leader of Education (RE) and Diocesan Canonical Inspector for the Diocese of Nottingham. 

David is a graduate of the University of London (Heythrop University) where he read Philosophy. Also a graduate of Newman University where he obtained a PGCE in Religious Education.  He has been a RE teacher in Birmingham for nine years. For the last three years David has been a Head of Department and a member of the school's Chaplaincy team, recently contributing to the school’s first Outstanding Section 48 judgement and an Ofsted thematic study. 

Gareth is headteacher at St. Peter’s R.C. Primary School in Cardiff and is a Section 48/50 inspector for the Archdiocese of Cardiff. He has worked in three Catholic primary schools within the Archdiocese, and was formerly the headteacher of St. Joseph’s School, Penarth - a Curriculum Innovation School currently working with the Welsh Government on the development of the new Curriculum for Wales. He has a keen interest in curriculum design and evidence informed practice. He presents regularly at local gatherings and national conferences about curriculum development, teaching and learning and the application of cognitive science in the classroom.

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Marie-Therese Weston

Marie-Therese has over 20 years' experience of teaching RE. She has had many roles including being a Head of RE Department in three different schools, Deputy Headteacher of a Catholic secondary school for over 10 years. She completed her PGCE at the Roehampton Institute London in 1995. Marie-Therese has a post graduate diploma from the Maryvale Institute in Religious Education and Catechesis. She went on to study a Masters in Catholic School Leadership with St Mary's University in Twickenham. Marie-Therese loves teaching RE and is passionate about Catholic Education and the difference it can make to the lives of young people. Currently she is Curriculum lead for RE at a secondary school in the Southwark diocese. 

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Catherine Herring

Catherine was recently appointed Director of Catholic Life at Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College in Leeds with responsibility for developing a new General RE programme as well as for the monitoring of Collective Worship and Catholic Life at college. In addition, she created the new Stella Maris Leadership Certificate to support the development of the virtues, approaching Leeds Trinity University to be a partner for the award. Prior to this she was Head of the A level Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies department for 9 years and more latterly with the added responsibility of Quality Assurance and Section 48 nominee for Catholic Life and a staff governor. As a member of ACVIC working party for the new inspection framework she was involved in the early discussions surrounding inspections relating to KS5. Training as a RE teacher at Leeds Trinity University later in life she went on to work in two Catholic high schools before moving to Notre Dame where she taught A level History, A level Religious Studies and General RE. A Farmington Fellow [2015] her project, ' Turning the Tide', was a chance to investigate historic as well as more recent ways schools and colleges communicate Catholic ethos as well as suggestions on how to develop it in a more secular age, the presentation was attended by Bishop Marcus Stock. 

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Andrew is currently the Head of RE at St Simon Stock Catholic School in Maidstone. He also oversees Personal Development and Wellbeing which is the umbrella for RSE, SMSC, PSHE and Citizenship. Andrew has been teaching RE since 2005 and specialises in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics. He has have marked for Edexcel and OCR and is currently training to be a diocesan inspector. Andrew has written teaching packs and revision guides for A Level Philosophy of Religion with Peped.org and has created philosophy resources for Academy Conferences.  Andrew loves RE and his teaching mission is to help his students be more critical thinkers. 

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Carol Gregson

Carol has 29 years’ experience in Catholic education. She has extensive experience as a Head of RE in a large 11-18 Catholic School in Blackpool and is currently Head of Catholic Life at Cardinal Newman, Preston, the largest Catholic Sixth Form College in the country with 4,500 students. Carol has experience of examining a variety of A Level and GCSE examination syllabi and is currently Assistant Principal Examiner for EDUQAS Route B. This role has involved developing online and textbook resources, contributing to online CPD and reviewing examination grades and CAG appeals. Carol has co authored Hodder's KS3 textbooks 'Spirit and Life' which support the Religious Education Directory. She is Chair of Governors at a local Catholic Primary School and a CSI inspector.

Sinead is an Assistant Headteacher at St. Augustine’s Catholic Primary School in Coventry, where she is also Phase Leader and head of Religious Education. She has vast experience in primary education with a specialty in Early Years and KS1. She graduated from Warwick University in Ancient History and Classical Archaeology where she took specialism in Early Christianity and the use of Religious Art and Architecture. She then went on to complete her PGCE at Warwick.

Over the last 10 years, Sinead has worked closely with the Missionaries of Divine Revelation, who are based in Rome, helping bring the YouCat to secondary school children and young people using religious art and Scripture. Sinead is passionate about Religious Education and supporting teachers and children to form a foundation of knowledge, understanding and love for our faith.

Elaine Arundell

Elaine graduated with a BEd degree in Dramatic Arts with English from St Mary’s Teacher Training College in Belfast. She served as a RE coordinator for 16 years, during which time she also worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher in RE, and  now supports primary schools in Westminster where she has worked as a RE Advisor since 2017. In addition to supporting schools in all areas of RE and Catholic life, Elaine works most closely on Prayer and Liturgy. She is an active member of the diocesan working party for Racial Justice, Equality and Diversity and supports Catholic SACRE representatives in her role as diocesan SACRE administrator.

 

Elaine recently completed her Masters in Religious Education at St Mary’s University in Twickenham, having researched how the song in RE and worship can have a positive experience on the spiritual development and wellbeing of pupils in key stage 2. She is now embarking on a PhD to further develop her research skills. Elaine has a real passion for supporting schools through the creation of resource materials as well as research.

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