Issue date: 22 September 2000

A national one day conference is being set up by academics at the University of the West of England in response to the new National Curriculum 2000 which introduces Citizenship Education and a new framework for Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE). The conference takes place at St Mary Redcliffe Church on 19 October and is run in association with Bristol Diocesan Board of Education and St Mary Redcliffe Church. The new National Curriculum 2000 draws heavily on the 1998 and 1992 Education Act which emphasises spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

The conference, which is aimed at school governors, head teachers, clergy, inspectors, advisers and anyone interested in the spiritual and moral development of young people, is being organised by Martin Ashley, from the Faculty of Education. He says, "Teachers will have new requirements to meet for citizenship and PSHE and the government has produced programmes of study and targets. There is little experience for teachers to draw upon in this new area. The conference will help them interpret this guidance and challenge it where appropriate."

The conference will also look at the terms ‘awe and wonder’ in context of spiritual development and will debate whether they are overused and therefore devalued. In addition the conference will look critically at the claim of the National Statement on values (in the appendix to the National Curriculum) that a consensus exists in this area.

Keynote speakers are Dr David Hay (Reader in Spiritual Education, University of Nottingham) and Canon John Hall (Chief Education Officer for the Church of England). Those running workshops at the conference have also produced brief discussion papers which are posted on the website with a series of questions which can be responded to electronically. The aim is to stimulate debate before and after the conference with a wider audience. Information is available at:

Back to top