Paul Smalley

Name: Paul Smalley
Department: Secondary and Further Education
Current position: Course Leader BA (Hons) Secondary Religious Education with QTS
Location: Ormskirk Main Campus, Faculty of Education



  • Course Leader for BA (Hons) Secondary Religious Education 2012-Present
  • Course Leader for BA(Hons) Key Stage 2/3 Religious Education 2011-2015
  • Course Leader for Flexible PGCE Secondary RE2006-2011
  • Course Leader for PGCE Secondary RE 2008-9
  • Senior Lecturer PGCE Secondary RE2006-2011
  • High school teaching Career: Head of RE (and PSHE) 2001-2006, Head of Year 2000-2001, Head of RE 1995-2000 in Three different High schools


  • MA Religious Education 2011 Warwick
  • PGCE Secondary Religious Education 1995 Sheffield Hallam
  • BA(Hons) Biblical Studies 1993 Sheffield

Interests and Achievements


  • Chair of the National Association of SACREs
  • Authorised Representative on the RE Council of England and Wales.
  • Vice Chair of Halton SACRE
  • Member of AULRE
  • Member of NATRE
  • Member of the PSHE Subject Association


  • Solstice Fellow 2012- Present
  • From July 2013 – July 2016 Paul was a Coach Mentor for The Football Association, working with grassroots football coaches.
  • Paul is also a Primary school governor.
  • Since 2017 Paul was appointed as a Local Missional Leader within the Church Of England Diocese of Liverpool: St James, Westbrook.

Professional Development and Enhancement

  • External Adviser – York St John RE PGCE and School Direct (2016-)
  • External Consultant – UCLAN (2013-4) Periodic Course Review of BA(Hons) and MA Programmes in Religion Culture & Society
  • External examiner – Bath Spa University PGCE RE, PE, Art & Design (2011-2014)
  • Culham St Gabriel’s “Teach RE” Course Tutor (2009-)


 Paul is currently researching Religious Literacy, Assemblies in schools, the Present and future roles of SACREs, Lesson Study

McVittie, E. & Smalley, P. (2013) “The use of visualisations to develop the aesthetic aspects of spiritual literacy.” International Journal of Children’s Spirituality 18(2)

Bateman, I & Smalley, P (2011) “Grassroots Study Visit: Crosfields JFC” The Boot Room, (01) pp 51-55.

Smalley, P & Thompson, S (2009) “Islam with Impact: In Widnes” RE Today (27: 1) pp35

Smalley,P (2009) “Risky Edgy RE”, RE Today (26: 2), pp. 38-39

Knowledge Transfer and Enterprise

Conference Presentations:

  • Smalley, P. (2016) “20 Odd years of Religious Literacy: Where has RE got us?” Words beyond words: Inspiring religious literacy AULRE / AREIAC / NATRE JOINT CONFERENCE October 8 – 9, Blackburn
  • Smalley, P; Boorman, D; O’Doherty, E; Allan, D (2015) “An English Evolution of Lesson Study?” BERA Annual Conference, 15-17 September Queen’s University, Belfast.
  • Boorman, D; Smalley, P; O’Doherty, E; Allan, D (2015) “Does using Lesson Study in primary schools to collect primary data challenge teachers’ conceptions of how effectively children are learning?” BERA Annual Conference, 15-17 September Queen’s University, Belfast.
  • O’Doherty, E; Allan, D; Smalley, P; Boorman, D (2015) “Lesson Study: The Freedom to Learn?” BERA Annual Conference, 15-17 September Queen’s University, Belfast.
  • Smalley, P. (2014) “Blurring the Lines, Blending the Learning: Using Social Media to Enhance the Student Experience” Researching Education: Theory, Method and Practice, 9th July, Edge Hill University.
  • Smalley, P. (2014) “Whatsapp-ening in Higher Education” SOLSTICE & CLT Conference: Learning & Teaching in Higher Education: Effective Practices, 5th June, Edge Hill University.
  • McVittie, E. & Smalley, P. (2013) “Power can be positive: Children as meaning-makers of their own spiritual literacy.” 13th International Conference on Children’s Spirituality: For the sake of Children: hidden forms of power in caring for children’s spirituality. 10th-13th July, KU Leuven, Belgium.
  • McVittie, E. & Smalley, P. (2013) “Life journeys and learning: children as meaning-makers of their own spiritual literacy”, Subjects and Subjectivities Edge Hill University Faculty of Education, Fifth Annual Research Conference
  • 9th July, Edge Hill University.
  • McVittie, E. & Smalley, P. (2013) “Spiritual literacy embedded in the day to day?” AULRE Annual conference: The Influence of Research on Professional Practice in RE, 6th July, York St. John University
  • Knapton, H. & Smalley, P. (2013) “Keeping them warm: place on a sunny windowsill, water regularly?” Teaching & Learning Conference: Sharing Effective Practice in Frontline Teaching, 5th July, Edge Hill University
  • Smalley, P. (2013) “The use of Social Media to enhance the student experience from pre-application to post-graduation” SOLSTICE & CLTR Conference: Learning & Teaching in Higher Education: Effective Practices, 5th June, Edge Hill University

External Collaborations/ Partnership Activity:

Paul is collaborating with Linda Woodhead, Mairi Levitt (Lancaster) David Lundie (University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth) Claire Parkin (St Mary’s University, Twickenham) on Teacher attitudes towards school assemblies

Paul is also involved with a Theos think tank working towards ‘Building Consensus on the Future of RE’.