Agenda and minutes

SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) - Monday, 26th February, 2018 6.15 pm

Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN. View directions

Contact: Anne Coffey  Clerk

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

The Chairman will welcome members, guests and new members.  The clerk will extend apologies received.    Stephen/Anne



The Chairman welcomed members. Apologies were received from Anju Sharma, Catherine Jinkerson and Linda Galpin. Shahid Younis advised of his late arrival.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on Monday 13th November, 2017.


Christine Morgan pointed out that her apologies were missing from the November minutes. Philip Hobday proposed that the minutes be approved subject to the Clerk amending them to include Christine’s apologies. All agreed.


Matters Arising


Matters arising from the November meeting were all listed on the agenda along with progress / outcomes as follows:




Westhill Trust funding request


Jan investigated this but the criteria for this year were not appropriate for a syllabus launch event. The theme for this year is diversity and young people’s projects. Jan said we could apply for this year or wait and devise a project for next year to develop the Crossing the Bridges project further. Philip Hobday suggested waiting until 2019; the majority of members voted to agree, with Lisa abstaining.



Annual Report pdf icon PDF 264 KB


A copy was included in the pack. All agreed it looks good, is very readable and shows how much the Wokingham SACRE has achieved.



Draft Development Plan 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 43 KB


Jan referred to the plan in the pack, stating that it was very similar to last year’s development plan. Members were happy for the network meetings to continue. The network meeting on October 4th will be at Shute End, and she proposed that a Primary Subject Leaders’ half-day training day takes place before the network meeting. Anne has booked a room for these events.


Jan asked how we could support secondary heads of RE/RE teachers. The last time a joint training day was held, guest speakers were booked. The next secondary training day will be in February 2019. There could be funds allocated for a similar option at that event.


Stephen asked Anne to send a link for SACRE minutes and information to Julian Bushell for the Secondary Federation to access, as the Federation is unable to provide a secondary representative on the SACRE.


Budget Update

Jan to bring to the meeting, from Emily.


Jan distributed hard copies of the current budget update, as provided by Emily that afternoon, and talked members through it. She pointed out that we could save £250 if the primary subject leader training is shared with Reading SACRE. That would release funds which could be used to help secondary RE subject leaders. There were no objections, so it was agreed to allocate spending to support secondary RE training, subject to Reading sharing the primary training cost. Michael asked Jan to email Reading SACRE regarding this.



Budget Plan for 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 42 KB


The proposed budget plan for 2018-19 was included in the pack. Jan explained that there was about £1,500 left in the 2017-18 budget which needed to be allocated. Beth suggested allocating it to the conference in September. Discussion followed on whether we hold a separate syllabus launch and autumn conference. West Berks want their own launch. If we have a summer event it could also combine training. Michael pointed out that the RE Commission report is due out in September so it would very relevant to hold an event then. We need to decide what we want before we decide how to allocate the funds.


Pan-Berkshire SACRE Hub budget pdf icon PDF 50 KB


The Hub budget was included in the pack. Each Berkshire SACRE has contributed £1,700 to cover the September conference, Hub meetings and work on the Revised Syllabus. (The Crossing the Bridges project has used all the funding from the Westhill Award).

The next Hub meeting is on 24th April at Shute End.


RE Agreed Syllabus Review so far - discussion pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Copy of Syllabus review progress provided as a separate document.

Additional documents:


Jan referred to the Hub meeting notes and talked members through the Powerpoint summary of the syllabus review so far, elaborating on some elements, e.g. slide 3, discussions at network meetings showed that some teachers were already teaching about Islam and others wanted to, so Islam is now to be included by the end of Key Stage 2. Teachers are to have more flexibility.


Slide 4: Humanism (or another secular worldview) to be included at Key Stage 3. Discussion arose over the interpretation of ‘secular’ and what resources are available for Humanism.


Slides 5-7 covered how the questions pages for the ‘Learning From’ and ‘Learning About’ groupings had been reorganised. The key questions pages showing suggested content to be taught are now all together in the main body of the syllabus, sequenced as KS1 and then KS2. Only a small amount of content had been changed.


Slide 8 emphasised that ALL students have a statutory entitlement. Stephen suggested strengthening the wording for post-16 ages. (p.40). The statutory entitlement for each child stays the same and schools can follow their own syllabus but they have to follow the same principles as are applied to designing an agreed syllabus.


Slide 9 covers attainment targets. In mapping Discovery RE, Jan was surprised how few other syllabi had been revised in line with the 2013 framework. Learning About/From structures have been retained in many revised syllabi , but it is each SACRE’s job to decide on how closely to align their revised syllabus with the 2013 framework or not at all. Jan emphasised that teachers did not want much to be changed.


Slide 10 – the enquiry approach has been retained and the 4-step teaching and learning process has been made more explicit.


Slide 11 indicates that assessment has not yet been revised as decisions are yet to be made. At a SLT meeting last week, Emily Waddilove asked primary senior leaders what they would like assessment to look like. They wanted to keep the 3 descriptors process, working at, towards and beyond. This will be discussed at the next Hub meeting. Regarding concepts, more theological literacy is to be included, listing questions under appropriate concepts.


Some schools don’t teach RE, e.g. a Humanist school. Sue informed members that Piggott Secondary School have sixth-form weekly Friday slots of an alternative to RE.


Michael said some ATL people have asked if it is legal to get rid of RE. Some schools have alternative options, e.g. ‘ethical days’. Stephen suggested taking views to the September event, once the syllabus is launched and the curriculum is proceeding.


Ofsted must be able to see spiritual, moral, social and cultural development opportunities demonstrated; that is a statutory requirement.


It was suggested that we discuss secondary KS4/5 RE at the November SACRE meeting, and Julian Bushell of the Secondary Federation could be invited to attend, after an initial informal chat with him.


The next SACRE Hub meeting is April 24th when the final draft of the Syllabus will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.




Michael reported that Reading SACRE (of which he is Vice-Chair) want to hold a big launch event but funding is an issue. They are thinking of hiring Reading University as it is in both boroughs and inviting the Vice-Chancellor (Borough Mayor and Bishop of Reading, too?)  Would Wokingham SACRE be interested holding a joint event? Reading SACRE think it should be a flagship event; Stephen would like confirmation that Reading has some funding. Discussion ensued regarding the timing and a ‘twilight’ event was preferred.

Action: Michael to liaise with Stephenregarding a possible joint event. 


Michael informed the group that the NUT (National Union of Teachers) and the ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers) have amalgamated to form the National Education Union (NEU), which is now the largest union in Europe and is not for teachers only. Michael will be the NEU Berkshire representative for SACREs; he is hoping to attract more interest from teachers’ unions.


Sue announced that she is retiring and has resigned from Piggott. She is a NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) representative on the SACRE, so will possibly not be able to continue on the SACRE although she would like to remain a member. Michael believes Sue can continue as a SACRE member if she retains her membership of the NASUWT.


Stephen thanked everyone for attending the meeting, which closed at 8.45pm.


Dates of next meetings

Monday June 11th, 2018. tbc

Monday November 5th, 2018. tbc


The next SACRE meeting will be on Monday June 11th. The autumn meeting is yet to be confirmed but will most likely be Monday November 12th, not November 5th.