FAQs

Q1: What is the REQM all about?

A: The RE Quality Mark (REQM) has been developed to celebrate high quality religious education. It is an accreditation system designed to be a mechanism for whole school improvement beyond religious education since its principle focus is enhanced pedagogy. The REQM is available to all schools.

Q2: Why should my school apply for the REQM?

A: If your school offers its learners high quality RE, this is the chance to have it recognised. Colleagues whose schools have applied for and achieved the award say that it invigorates their practice. It reminds them of what they are doing well, shows them some imaginative ways forward and is an excellent way of promoting their work to a wider audience. Visit the Achieving the award section to look at how to apply and the levels of the award.

Q3: Is it time consuming to prepare for the REQM?

A: We recommend that it should not take more than one day of preparation. The school application form has been designed so that colleagues highlight where they think their practice is. The evidence is brief and is the sort of information which well run departments have available. It is important for learners to be asked their views on RE, so all schools applying should use the questionnaire with a sample of their pupils. Visit the How to apply page to download the pupil questionnaires.

Q5: How much does the REQM Award cost? Are there any grants available?

A: The REQM Award costs £475 which includes the cost of an assessor visiting the school for half a day. If your school has fewer than 150 pupils or has been categorised by Ofsted as “requiring improvement” or in "special measures", it may be eligible for a £275 grant. 

Q6: My school has achieved outstanding in RE for a Section 48 SIAMS* inspection does that mean I should be applying for gold?

A: Not necessarily. The RE Quality Mark focuses solely on RE and how it supports school improvement. One school which had achieved outstanding in a SIAMS inspection, was delighted to achieve a Bronze award. * Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools

Q7: How can I use the school’s evidence criteria?

A: The school’s evidence form has been designed to help you gather evidence quickly. Some schools are highlighting those areas which they know they meet. Then they add brief examples in the second column. Where these are the same as some of the suggested criteria they can stay in the column. Further examples can be added.

Some schools are using a RAG rating to work out how secure they are in meeting the criteria. Green means that the criteria have been met, amber means almost there and red means there is more work to do.

Q8: My RE budget doesn’t stretch to paying for the REQM.

A: As the REQM is designed to support whole school improvement, many schools are paying for this from a school improvement budget rather than the RE budget. You could also approach your local SACRE or faith communities for financial support. If your school has fewer than 150 pupils or has been categorised by Ofsted as “requiring improvement” or in "special measures", it may be eligible for a £275 grant. 

Q9: How easy is it for Special Schools to apply for the REQM?

A: There have been a number of special schools which have applied and achieved the REQM. They have used the current evidence form. Where the criteria ask for levels of progress, they have been able to show this either through progression on P scales or other internal assessment procedures.

Q10: If RE is not taught at KS4, does it mean we cannot achieve the RE Quality Mark?

A: The school needs to show evidence of high quality learning experiences for whole days off timetable which are RE led in order to meet the criteria. They need to be robustly planned and supported by high quality impact measures for example from student and staff feedback.

Q11: What about levels in RE?

A: Levels for national curriculum subjects have been removed. However, most locally agreed syllabuses are still working to levels. The important thing is that schools are able to show progress, whatever system they use. In other words, can they show how well pupils are doing at the end of each key stage and how does achievement in RE compare with other subjects?

Q12: Do I have to have bronze award before I can apply for silver?

A: A school can apply for bronze, silver or gold provided they have fulfilled the criteria. There is no need to achieve the bronze award before applying for the silver or achieve the silver before applying for the gold.

Q13: RE is often delivered in collective worship. Can we include it on the REQM evidence form?

A: The RE Quality Mark concerns RE only not collective worship.

Q14: How do I evidence progress in RE without levels?

A: Many schools are working on assessment without levels for subjects in the national curriculum. This sets out the position as far as the REQM assessment is concerned:

  • From September 2014, the national curriculum levels do not apply to subjects, apart from the current years 2 and 6. All other years are expected to be working on ways of assessing which show whether pupils are working at ‘age related expectations’ (ARE).
  • For maintained schools, RE is expected to be taught according to the locally agreed syllabus. Academies and free schools are free to develop their own curriculum for RE. Voluntary Aided Church of England schools and Roman Catholic schools will have guidance from their dioceses. Other faith schools will also follow their own syllabuses.
  • For those schools applying for the REQM, the expectation is that pupils are achieving at least the same as other subjects. The way of checking this should be both robust and light touch. Some moderation by the school, of examples of pupils’ and students’ across RE and English, for example, would show whether pupils are working at ‘age related expectations’ in RE. For those schools using levels in RE, the same could apply. It is not expected that this is done by the school for every pupil – a sample of pupils will be enough to show a broad comparison of standards.
  • A critical aspect of the REQM assessment is what pupils and students have to say about their RE. If they say for example, whether RE is challenging, interesting and makes them think, this is a good indicator for the extent to which they are achieving well.

Q15: What is the usual time-frame for an REQM application?

A: Schools can apply whenever they like, but should be aware that evidence presented to the assessor needs to be up to date. Assessor visits can only be postponed under unusual or unforeseen circumstances. Once we receive an application, an assessor is usually allocated to the school within a two week period. We ask that schools only apply when they are ready for the visit, in order to avoid postponements.