Agenda and minutes

SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) - Monday, 3rd June, 2019 6.15 pm

Venue: David Hicks 1 - 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 and introduced Angela Hill, the new RE Adviser for Wokingham SACRE.  Apologies were received from Sukhdev Bansal, Rev Lisa Cornwell, Linda Galpin, Rev Philip Hobday, Anju Sharma, Michaela Watters and Faith Kirby. Stephen noted that we were not quorate as there were no members from Group B present.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on Monday March 4th, 2019.


The minutes of the last meeting were approved; proposed by David, seconded by Beth.


Matters Arising

3.1 Clerk to send Group A info to Michael with a view to him contacting a Humanist.

3.2 Members to send the Chair/Vice-Chair/Clerk more ideas for projects.

3.3 Stephen to contact Catherine regarding further Crossing the Bridges work.

3.4 Clerk to advise members of next RE network meeting when known.

3.5 Clerk to forward contact details of Children’s Services Director, Carol Cammiss, to Stephen, to invite her to the next SACRE meeting.


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

3.1 Clerk sent Group A info to Michael. With regard to Wokingham SACRE co-opting a Humanist representative, Michael had been in contact with the Education Campaign Director for Humanism UK who passed his enquiry to Luke Donnellan, Director of Understanding Humanism, who is responsible for securing new representatives for SACREs. Luke will contact Anne to discuss further. If Anne does not hear from him, she will make contact with him. Stephen thanked Michael for his work on this.

3.2 Julie had put forward several ideas for more projects.

3.3 Catherine has agreed to take on further Crossing the Bridges work.

3.4 The Clerk advised members of the next Primary RE Network meeting, which is Tuesday June 11th at Nine Mile Ride Primary School.

3.5 Stephen emailed Carol Cammiss (Children’s Services Director), inviting her to the SACRE meeting but has had no response.


Development plan and budget


There is currently no updated development plan. Angela handed round the budget sheet and talked members through it. According to Emily, there is probably about £500 which could be used for further projects such as more training. Stephen suggested that something similar to Julie’s work with autism and RE could be considered for SEN children. Shira repeated her previous suggestion that teachers would like a talk from a knowledgeable person from the Muslim faith.


Angela said that Emily had asked if the budget document was sufficient or whether adevelopment plan document was also wanted. It was felt that the information would be easier to understand if the data was in an Excel spreadsheet. Beth offered to create one and email it for members’ review.


There was discussion about remaining in the Hub. Support materials for the syllabus had not been delivered when expected, although some teachers are happy enough with the previous syllabus material.


Hub Update:

Beth gave a Hub update as the Hub meeting took place earlier today. The main news is that the Hub has won a £4,000 Westhill/NASACRE award. These awards for local projects involving schools are funded by grants from the Westhill Foundation and are managed and coordinated by NASACRE.  The Hub project is to ascertain which secondary schools provide media classes and give them the opportunity to film various faith representatives begin interviewed in their places of worship. These recordings would then be useful as a resource for RE teachers. Beth reminded members of how valuable the teachers found the talks by people of different faiths at the last Hub conference. The Gurdwara in Slough is very interested and can do their own filming. It is hoped that volunteers can be used where possible, in order to get the best value from the funds. At the moment there is only a basic plan and it is not yet known who will do the interviewing as it was discussed at the Hub only today, but it will need to be actioned very soon. There will be another Hub meeting on July 17th at WBC.


The Hub members have set prospective dates for a conference June or July 2020, when all Hub projects can be reviewed and celebrated.


There seems to be uncertainty about how the Hub is managed, which stems from the loss of Jan Lever, who had previously led the Hub but left last year. Michael thinks that Anne Andrews and David Rees took over the role in tandem as an interim measure for the following year. It was generally felt that the governance of the Hub needs to be clarified. Michael suggested that the Chairs and Vice-Chairs should meet to discuss this. David suggested using Doodle Poll to confirm a date.


Stephen held a vote on whether the SACRE should continue supporting the Hub. Those present all agreed in principle. As the meeting was non-quorate, Stephen will send an email to those not present to ask their view. Anne suggested  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Feedback from teacher networks and training opportunities


There have been no network meetings or training sessions since the last SACRE meeting. There will be a network meeting next week, Tuesday 11th.


Feedback from NASACRE AGM/Conference


Angela and Michaela attended the NASACRE AGM/Conference. The conference title was ‘Cohesive Communities and Effective Partnerships: RE near and far.’ Angela handed out a comprehensive report she had produced and commented that there was a lot going on with RE, compliance being a major item. Items covered in the programme included: the new OfSted Education Inspection Framework, which will focus on curriculum, behavour and development, and how NATRE (National Association of Teachers of Religious Education) is working with the DfE and believes the new Framework can increase school accountability for Religious Education. NATRE wants to contact schools with low engagement with RE and offer support; Wokingham SACRE could identify which schools have not attended network meetings or training, with a view to helping them improve their RE provision. Celia offered to raise the issue at a meeting of the Primary Heads. Anne will query the WBC booking system which is used for network meetings and training sessions to find out which schools have not attended.

Action: Anne to report on which primary schools are not engaging with RE network meetings/ training.


The NASACRE conference reported that the DfE has responded to NASACRE about what is expected with regards to school compliance in RE. Michael pointed out that the 1944 Education Act requires schools to hold a daily act of worship and he asked if schools are following this guidance. He expressed concern that if the statutes are not followed there could be problems in the future. Stephen advised that the SACRE does not currently have capacity to investigate this and was unsure how it would do so. Catherine said that primary schools are pleased when clerics offer to give assemblies.She suggested that she mention it to Crossing the Bridges contacts in addition to the updating work she will be doing. All agreed with this as one way to increase the occurrence of daily worship in schools. Secondary schools may prove more problematical.

Action: Catherine to approach places of worship regarding faith leaders offering assemblies to schools.


Other conference items included: information about National and Regional Ambassadors supporting teachers of RE; details of the BBC ‘Bitesize’ guides for GCSE specifications; an All Party Parliamentary Group for RE where a NATRE member spoke about the good RE in her school – (Wokingham has Maiden Erlegh, which has an RE Quality Mark for its RE teaching); NATRE and Culham St Gabriel’s offering a subject knowledge enhancement course; and teachers’ seminar days at the Jewish Museum (which Emily will be publicising in the Wokingham schools’ weekly e-bulletin, Education News).


NASACRE updates


NASACRE updates have been covered in the NASACRE AGM/Conference item.


National updates relating to education and RE


National updates have been covered in the NASACRE AGM/Conference item.


SACRE projects


Crossing the Bridges:

The main current SACRE project is the ongoing updating and expanding of the Crossing the Bridges Directory. There was discussion over ownership of the Directory as WBC paid for it; Catherine has been advised that this means WBC owns it. Catherine has a concern over hosts giving personal email addresses for the Directory which will be available on LA websites; there was disagreement over whether it was necessary. Anne will ask the WBC GDPR person to confirm if there needs to be a consent box on the host form.

Catherine also thought that the Directory was only available on the Discovery RE website but Anne said she would check as she was fairly sure it had been uploaded to the Wokingham Schools’ Hub.

Anne had forwarded information from Anju about the Sikh Education Trust which launched their Sikh Syllabus in March in conjunction with Discovery RE. Catherine thought it would be useful to contact them but could not find any contact details on their website and Anju was not present.

If any members know of any more prospective places of worship to add to the Directory, please let Catherine know.

Action: Anne to check that the Directory is on the Wokingham Schools’ Hub and ask WBC advice regarding personal email addresses in the Directory.

Action: All to advise Catherine of more places of worship which could be approached for Directory inclusion.


SEND Project:

Beth asked if there was something we could do for SEND pupils in relation to RE; this was raised at the Hub meeting. Discussion followed with input from Julie, who had looked at how autistic children accessed RE. However, there are many forms of special needs which would complicate any provision. Some behavioural issues would respond better to more practical projects, e.g. drama and more non-academic routes. Catherine spoke about Godly Play, (a Christian movement focused on childhood spirituality) where children have play sessions with a variety of materials, e.g. wooden characters. It was noted that special schools do not have to do RE.

Stephen asked everyone to put out feelers to schools to see if teachers have ideas about what kind of RE project could work with SEN children. Angela will bring it up at network meetings. Anne to investigate SENCO contacts.

Action: Angela to ask teachers at network meetings for ideas for SEN pupils and RE.

Action: Anne to find details of SENCO contacts.





Anne provided copies of the new SACRE flyer.

The meeting finished at 8.10pm.