Agenda and minutes

SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) - Monday, 4th March, 2019 6.15 pm

Venue: David Hicks 2 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

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 (2mins)



The Chairman welcomed members, including new members Faith Kirby and Julie Easton.  Apologies were received from 5 members.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on Monday November 12th 2018.


The minutes of the last meeting were approved, proposed by Lisa, seconded by Anju.


Matters Arising


Matters arising from the 12th November, 2018, meeting were all listed on the agenda along with progress / outcomes as follows:


Letter to NASACRE


Stephen working on.


Updated SACRE flyer


Waiting to add new RE Adviser name before printing.


Federation Inset Day

Julian getting a commitment from secondary RE teachers and reporting to the Federation.

Emily emailing primary teachers; primary RE teacher to attend.


Michaela had offered to report to members but was unable to attend the SACRE meeting . Shira had attended and she gave feedback that schools were extremely keen to have faith visitors, especially Muslim speakers.



Michael to find contact details for a Humanist


Michael asked about the structure of Group A, informing members that some SACREs are now including a Humanist as a ‘world-view’ member.  On confirmation of Group A description, Michael will contact the Humanist. The Clerk can send info regarding the make-up of Group A to Michael.

Action: Clerk to send Group A info to Michael.




Julie Easton completed a Farmington scholarship; her project looked at RE and children with autism.


Our new member, Julie, gave a presentation of her work on RE and children with autism, which she had completed the previous year as a Farmington Scholarship. In her school there are quite a few children with autism and she had found there had been very little work done on RE and such children. She explained the main issues facing autistic children, how she researched ‘theory of mind’ and worked with autistic children using ‘social stories’ which help autistic children to better understand interpersonal communication. Julie produced results from working with them and developing the social stories, which helped them improve their social skills but also demonstrated the difference in their understanding  Enabling the children in this way means that RE goes some way towards helping autistic children transfer skills learned to other situations.


Stephen thanked Julie for the presentation which everyone enjoyed and learned from.  


Development Plan and Budget - to finalise


Alison had met earlier with Emily Waddilove to finalise the budget and budget sheets were handed out to members. There are still some funds remaining, which will be very useful for several projects such as adding to and updating the Directory for Crossing the Bridges; training faith visitors in order to satisfy the urgent need of teachers for speakers on faiths, particularly Islam; and a possible project for special needs children. There followed much discussion about which projects to progress; it was felt that adding to the CtB Directory was a major need, as there are still gaps in certain areas. Also, as time goes by, contact information will need updating. It was suggested that RE Inspired could train speakers from other faiths as they already train speakers. Beth felt it was very important to have a project for SEN children.

Stephen asked everyone to email him, Beth or the Clerk with any more ideas they may have, as soon as possible.

Action: members to send ideas to Stephen, Beth or Anne as soon as possible.

Action: Stephen to contact Catherine Jinkerson regarding further Crossing the Bridges work.


Feedback from Network meeting pdf icon PDF 28 KB


Alison reported on the latest RE primary network meetings, which were positive as usual; teachers like the syllabus and are all in the process of implementing it. Alison said her farewells to the teachers. Notes from the February network meeting are included with the agenda. The date of the next network meeting will not be confirmed until there is a new RE Adviser, but it will probably be held at Nine Mile Ride Primary School.

Action: Anne to advise members of next network meeting when date known.



Pan-Berks Hub Update (Jan 21st meeting)


There had been a long discussion about the Crossing the Bridges project at the Hub meeting, especially about appendices and resources. Anne Andrews and David Rees had done some work but more needs to be done. Michael wondered if the Hub could be put on hold for a year and asked what others thought. For example, Reading would find it difficult to contribute the necessary funding to the Hub. Other Berkshire SACREs may also have problems with budgets. Beth suggested that the Crossing the Bridges project is continued and the Hub conference is resumed. Michael pointed out that each SACRE has varied local issues and the conference brings people together, creating much enthusiasm and providing an opportunity for the different faith members of each SACRE to network and learn from each other. Beth suggested that Wokingham SACRE continues with the projects which will benefit Wokingham schools. All agreed that we support the Hub for now.


Anne Andrews has submitted an application on behalf of the Hub for the Westhill Award.


National updates relating to education and RE


Alison informed members of relevant national items: in its Final report ‘Religion and Worldviews: the way forward. A National Plan for RE’, the Commission on Religious Education (CoRE) has made 11 recommendations to the government regarding Religious Education, including re-naming the subject Religion and Worldviews.  The recommendations which the government has said it would do something about are: ITE teachers to be systematically trained and supported to meet National Entitlement, at primary and secondary level; and to allocate funding for CPD to support current teachers to meet National Entitlement. Nothing is statutory as yet.


Culham St Gabriel’s Trust has responded to the CoRE final report. The Trust has launched some new resources and is also working with the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE) on a Subject Knowledge Enhancement course for potential RE teachers. They also offer a ‘Tailor Made’ course designed for all serving teachers in all phases of education.



NASACRE updates


Alison reported that NASACRE has encouraged SACREs to: ensure their annual reports are sent to DfE and NASACRE; let NASACRE know if any SACRE would like to share their syllabus; consider applying for the Westhill Award; take action on non-compliance secondaries (Emily’s responsibility) and book 2 members on the NASACRE AGM/Conference May 22nd.


SACRE Projects


Ideas for projects have all been discussed in previous items.




Anju asked if we have a new RE Adviser yet; Stephen answered that there have been three applicants for the RE adviser role and they will be interviewed shortly by him, Beth, Emily Waddilove and possibly Jim Mathieson (School Development Adviser).

Michael referred to the 1944 Education Act and its stipulation about collective worship in schools as a legal requirement. He also advised that Carol Cammiss, Director of Children’s Services, would like to attend a SACRE meeting; if she cannot attend she would send Paul Doherty, the new Assistant Director (Education).

Action: Anne to forward their contact details to Stephen. Stephen to invite Carol to the next SACRE meeting.

Shira mentioned Ofsted beginning to check if schools were teaching RE. Julie clarified that an Ofsted inspector can pick 1 or 2 subjects and RE was one of them. Alison explained that there is a pilot running at the moment. Ofsted are introducing a new inspection framework from September 2019, which will be published in the summer. It will focus on the quality of education and training, safeguarding and effective management. Ofsted are piloting several areas and will refine those areas based on pilot activity and from feedback from consultation, which closes April 5th.