ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

About ACT - Frequently Asked Questions

What is ACT?

In 1971 three organisations - the Teachers' Prayer Bond (founded in 1926), the Inter-School Christian Fellowship, and the Christian Education Fellowship (founded in 1933 as the School Teachers' Prayer Circle; renamed as the Schoolmasters and Schoolmistresses Prayer Fellowship in 1937) - merged to form the Association of Christian Teachers (ACT).

Today, ACT membership is open to all Christians who work in - or care passionately about - education in England. ACT is a community of around one thousand people, the majority of whom are in full membership.

ACT is a member of the Evangelical Alliance.

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What is ACT’s vision?

ACT is called to glorify God by serving, supporting, inspiring and equipping Christians working in education. ACT seeks to inspire all Christians in education confidently to live out their faith day by day, positively influencing the culture, values and spiritual environment of their place of work and, ultimately, transforming the nation for the Kingdom of God.

What does ACT do?  How can ACT help me?


For many years the Christian community has looked to ACT to be the voice of Christians in education in the media.  Press releases are issued on a variety of topical educational issues on a regular basis.  We have letters published in the TES, (Times Educational Supplement) and give interviews on BBC local radio and Christian radio stations like Premier, Hope FM, TWR and UCB.


ACT provides a news and information service for busy professionals taken from the secular and Christian press, including resources, latest updates from the DfE and Ofsted.  Our main channel for communication with members is ACTuality, our weekly email to members and friends.  ACT also issues a termly Journal in paper format with articles of interest to Christians in education.


ACT works to influence policy to ensure that Christians have freedom to live and breathe their faith and safeguard Christian values in education and wider society.


ACT co-ordinates the prayer diary which provides a prayer for every day.

ACT's staff and volunteers are on hand to give thoughtful and prayerful advice on professional and spiritual issues to members. We have launched TEXT prayer where members can text in their immediate prayer needs to our prayer team.

Overseas fund

ACT also supports teachers networks abroad.

Who belongs to ACT?

the_life_large_group_of_young_people_Paul_Tilbury.jpgMembers include teaching assistants, student teachers and NQTs, teachers and lecturers, headteachers and principals, HMI and Ofsted inspectors, school governors, diocesan and local authority education advisors, and schools workers. We also have many faithful retired members who maintain their interest in education.

We have an expanding initiative with individual churches joining ACT to support all those in their congregations involved in education in any way.

Increasingly schools are joining us and using our website to advertise their vacancies.

Who funds ACT’s work?

Almost all of ACT’s income comes from individuals members, some of whom are retired but see the value of ACT in national life.  Without this generous support we would not be able to continue funding this important workplace ministry.

If you – and others in your church family – care about education, and want to support Christians working with children, young people and adults, please make a donation to ACT today.

How else can I support ACT?

1. Remember ACT in your prayers. The monthly ACT prayer diary is available online or by post, on request.
2. Tell all your friends about ACT.
3. Invite them to support ACT as well. Members can join online or application forms are available from the national office.

How do I join ACT?

Please visit the Join ACT section of this website and become an ACT member today.

Why do people join ACT?

Members receive information, inspiration and personal support.  Membership also enables our press advocacy and policy work to continue.

ACT ONE:  Each autumn  ACT members meet together  for spiritual fellowship and dialogue, and the Association's Annual General Meeting where key decisions are made.

ACT TWO:  Connections with the media, communicating the Christian perspective on education and related issues.

ACT THREE:  ACT is a listening organisation which welcomes comment, criticism and contributions from ACTivists who can make a positive contribution.

ACT FOUR: is our termly members' newsletter, with in-depth articles and news for the thinking Christian.

ACT FIVE: ACT members are invited to contribute to the ACT prayer diary, stimulating your prayers for politicians, school leaders, staff and students.

ACT SIX: is our email update service, ACTuality, delivered free most weekends.

Can anyone join ACT?

Yes, membership is open to Christians of all denominations and a variety of worship traditions. Most, though by no means all, ACT members would describe themselves as ‘evangelical Christians’. Members must be able to sign the ACT Membership Declaration: ‘I believe in Jesus Christ as risen saviour, Lord and God, and in his atoning sacrifice as the only and all-sufficient ground of salvation. I endeavour to be ruled in thought, word and action by the Bible as the inspired word of God and to live by the power of the Holy Spirit.’

How much does it cost to join ACT?

Membership subscription rates are as follows:

• Individual membership £1
• Church membership £40
• School membership £40
• Associate Body membership £80

It costs around £60 a year per member to run ACT - once you have joined you will be asked to complete a standing order form.

All members are encouraged to:

  • make a gift aid declaration which enhances the benefit of their subscription to the Association.
  • pay by standing order which ensures that subscriptions are renewed on time.
    standing orders can be cancelled at any time.
ACT staff

Clive Ireson



Clive Ireson trained at Culham College before a career in primary schools, including sixteen as head of a large urban Northampton primary with pupils from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Clive is the Director of ACT and represents members on many national bodies including Pray for Schools, RE Council for England and Wales and The Lords and Commons Family and Child Protection Group.

Clive also serves ACT as media spokesperson and often speaks on radio and television, putting the Christian perspective on education issues of the day.

Dawn Williams

Dawn works in the ACT office in Northampton a few hours a week updating the membership database and cashbook.


ACT's current trustees:

Barbara Bell, Ludlow, Shropshire - Chair ACT

Originally from Lancashire, Barbara and her husband now live in Ludlow, Shropshire where they worship at the local Anglican Church in nearby Church Stretton. Very much still a northerner at heart, she has a grown up family who live 'down south'. Since qualifying as a teacher in 1974 she has worked in secondary schools in various parts of the country teaching a variety of subjects. She has been on a number of Governing Bodies and is currently on the Board of a local Church of England VA School.

The Revd Dr Gerard G. Moate BA, PhD, FRSA

A Church of England minister for nearly forty years, Gerard has taught in maintained primary and independent preparatory and secondary schools. he is a member of the Council of Haileybury College. During his twenty years as Vicar and Lecturer of Dedham he completed a PhD in History; the subject of his research being a pioneer of education in early modern England. Gerard has two daughters, one of whom is an RE teacher in Oxfordshire and the other a student worker in Cambridge; together they keep him in touch with current thinking.

Jamie Jamieson,  Isle of Wight

As a teacher, head teacher, teacher educator and advisor in the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia.  He is a trustee of ACT and a Director of LIVINGWAY EDUCATION in Malawi.  While working towards a Doctorate in Education, Christianity and Faith, he is conducting research in Malawi regarding attitudes towards Education related Development  

Jeanette Hender, Merseyside

Originally a Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1 teacher and music specialist, Jeanette now works with young people of all ages and their parents, schools and health professionals as a part-time peripatetic teacher of the deaf and educational audiologist.  She continues to enjoy music through leading a preschool story and song group, and playing flute at church.

Ian Birkin, Derby, Derbyshire

As a practising and committed Christian Ian is keen to support teachers and others in schools in their work, worship and witness. He has been a primary school teacher for many years, during which he has held a range of leadership and management roles, including as headteacher of a small city primary school with a Christian ethos, and deputy headteacher/acting headteacher of two local authority schools. Ian has also been employed by a Christian charity in Derby, where he represented a cluster of Churches in local infant, junior, primary and secondary schools/academies. His role included teaching, leading assemblies, lunch clubs and organising and leading educational visits to local Churches.

Rev Tim Coles, Ludlow, Shropshire
Rev Tim Coles MTh has been the Elim Pastor in Ludlow, Shropshire for the past 14 years. throughout his life and ministry he has led Youth groups, Worship Teams, House Groups, and been involved in major evangelistic and prayer initiatives. Today he is one of 33 volunteers going into 10 schools every other week conducting acts of Worship. He also oversees Experience Christmas, Easter & Pentecost programmes, the ‘Counties’ LIFE exhibition along with GSUS Live; and introduced a Prayer Week into the primary school where he is a Governor. He is currently working with the school to develop a ‘Worship Team’ with children from Y5 & Y6 deriving & delivering acts of worship. Tim is married to Judith with 2 grown up children.
Michelle Stephenson,
I have worked in Secondary Education for approximately 13 years in a range of capacities such as a member of the SLT, AST and other whole school responsibilities. I am passionate about the outcomes of young people, ensuring they are given the best tools for life and as result started my company Transformation Education Ltd in 2014 with the focus of reaching disaffected young people and equipping them with the skills and confidence to achieve. Besides being passionate about this generation I am passionate about my relationship with Christ, my wonderfully supportive husband and gorgeous son.






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