Agenda and draft minutes

SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) - Monday, 14th June, 2021 6.15 pm

Venue: Teams - Remote Meeting

Contact: Catharine Newport  Clerk


No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

The Chairman will welcome members, guests and new members.  The clerk will extend apologies received.    Stephen/Catharine (2mins)



The Chairman welcomed members. Apologies were received from Christine Morgan and Julie Easton.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 382 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 1st March 2021


The minutes of the last meeting held on 9th November 2021 were approved, proposed by Beth and seconded by Lisa.



Matters Arising


Matters arising from the 1st March 2021 meeting were all listed on the agenda along with progress / outcomes as follows:


Members to let Catherine know of links with places of worship


Action ongoing

(Under AOB, Paris notified us of a link she has.)






Welcome to Jackie Rance who has replaced Graham Howe as a WBC councillor on the SACRE and thank you to Graham for his support up to this point.


Attempts have been made to make contact with others by Beth and Emily/ Catharine with an invitation to join SACRE but so far without success. This action is ongoing. Currently we have two vacancies in Group A: one for Christian denominations other than the Church of England, and one for a Buddhist member; and two vacancies in Group C (Teachers and educationalists).



Stephen to take resources platform idea to the hub meeting for discussion



Angela and Beth attended the recent hubmeeting. The idea for a central hub for resources was discussed. A ‘blog spot’ is being used for this now and details will be included in Education News. The blog spot can be found here

Berkshire SACRE Hub RE teaching resources



Stephen and Angela to suggest to Hub idea of a list for schools to 'visit' via' online places of worship

(Stephen / Angela)


The possibility of having a directory of virtual visits was discussed. It was deemed not necessary now as there are already lots of virtual tours which teachers can currently access, and the capacity and funds are not available at this time.



Members to suggest how to spend surplus budget money


Discussed under the development plan and budget.


Summer Term 2021: How are things for Wokingham Schools?



Last time we met schools were closed and most students were learning at home. Schools re-opened on 8th March 2021 and have had to put lots of things in place including twice week lateral-flow tests for staff and secondary pupils. Where positive tests have been picked up staff and students are having to isolate. Covid secure arrangements still in place including working in bubbles, socially distanced teaching, enhanced cleaning, staggered start and end to the school day and lunch times and, in secondary schools, teachers and students wearing masks.


Teachers now identifying gaps in learning and supporting catch up for those behind as well as supporting their general well-being.


Secondary schools working hard on Teacher Assessed grades for GCSE requiring a lot of assessment activities.


There are many areas of uncertainty for schools currently including activities such year 6 transition visits to secondary school, and residential trips. Whilst the guidance does state that these activities can continue provided they are in line with the current covid-secure guidelines such as bubbles etc. many schools have concluded that the guidelines are such that it would not be possible to run activities


This week and last week surge testing is taking place in parts of the borough. Schools that are within these areas have been required to arrange PCR tests for all their staff tested and Secondary Schools have also had to get their students tested which has been a major operation. It will also mean that more cases will come to light resulting in more self-isolation for students and staff.


All of this means that visits from SACRE to schools at the moment would be difficult. This question needs to be revisited in the Autumn term.


SACRE would like to pass on our thanks to all the Primary and Secondary staff who have done an amazing job in continuing to educate our children through the most difficult times.


Development plan and budget pdf icon PDF 366 KB

(Angela / Emily)

Additional documents:


The draft development plan for April 21 to March 22 includes our standard SACRE activities.


Page 13 of the agenda pack

Point 3 – visits to schools by SACRE members: due to current situation, delay this by one term and change to ‘No visits until Spring 2022’. Before then, contact can continue to be made virtually.


Page 15 of the agenda pack

Provision of CPD for secondary RE teachers and Heads of RE. There is no secondary federation INSET day again this year, so we need to think about alternative ways of supporting secondary schools. Secondary colleagues have been attending recent primary network meetings and will be encouraged to attend this term’s meeting.


We already have a plan for the Autumn term Primary RE Network meeting on 30th November 2021 with a colleague from RE today, an Early Years expert, who will be providing training in this specific area.


Emily pointed out the two budget documents in the agenda pack – one for the end of the last financial year, and the other a draft budget plan for this current year.


We mentioned at the last meeting that we had an amount of money left over from the last financial year which we thought we had to spend in a hurry. The good news is that we have been allowed to carry this over into this financial year. General discussion took place around how we can use these additional funds of around £3000. (The hub has just invoiced us for £500, rather than £900. We should keep a little more in reserve in case further funds are needed but we have a little more to play with than indicated in the draft budget plan. We can also factor in the £250 allocated to secondary twilight training.)


Emily put forward various ideas including physical resources which could be posted to the schools and a Wokingham Festival of RE, consisting of live and pre-recorded twilight sessions which would take place over several weeks. If both resources and training are provided, the training could be linked to the resources, which would encourage teachers to use them. Angela has worked with her colleagues at RE Today to put together suggestions for resources and training at reduced costs. (Stephen noted that Angela has been keen to point out that the SACRE is of course free to work with other organisations.)


The physical resources suggested were

‘Picturing Islam Picturing Muslims’ for Key stage 3&4 students

Picturing Islam, Picturing Muslims 9781910261545 - NATRE


‘What happens in…’ for Primary schools

What happens in ...? 9781910261309 - NATRE


These resources could be tied in with training that we can offer and ‘What happens in…’ fits in well with the ‘Real People Real Faith’ materials.


The SACRE meeting attendees voted in favour of spending the money on a combination of training resources and training. The resources will be sent out with an accompanying letter explaining that they are a gift from SACRE and detailing the training on offer.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Feedback from teacher networks and training opportunities



The Conceptual Understanding Project is designed to facilitate a seamless transition between Primary school and Secondary school by identifying the big concepts to be taught in RE, as well as other National Curriculum foundation subjects, as agreed by Wokingham primary and secondary teachers. The Primary Network Meeting which took place on 23rd March 2021 included Secondary teachers who contributed to a discussion on this.


The next network meeting is on the 8th July 2021 and the aim is to finalise the document at this meeting, so it is important that we get as many teachers from Primary AND Secondary attend as possible. There will also be an item on the hub’s ‘Real People Real Faith’ project which was launched in April, and the Ofsted review will be considered. As always, it would be great to have SACRE members at the meeting – please let Catharine know if you would like to attend.


In the November network meeting Fiona Moss from RE today will be doing some early years training. Philippa asked if this training could be shared more widely via Anne Stopforth and her early years network and Emily agreed that this was a really good idea.



SACRE projects


Already covered under item 6 (Conceptual understanding project)



Berkshire SACRES Hub Update - Feedback from Hub Meetings pdf icon PDF 726 KB



The recent hub meeting was well organised and the hub is working well.


Angela gave a presentation on the Real People, Real Faith materials, including sharing an extract from one of the films. (Please see slides attached)

Philippa attended the launch event and spoke very positively about this and about the materials. She feels it is very important that the materials are promoted well to schools.


Angela supported Anne Andrews to give a presentation on the ‘Real People Real Faith’ project at the NASACRE conference.


It is worth remembering that the resource would not have been possible without the formation of the Hub. The resources are now available free of charge on the NATRE website here

Real People Real Faith (


A Reading charity has been approached for funding to make more films for ‘Real People Real Faith’.


The hub has begun to consider the syllabus review (the current syllabus is for 2018-2023) and whether a radical change or minor tweaks are needed. The three advisors for the Pan-Berkshire hub will co-lead the review, and will commence by getting some teacher voice, surveying teachers to ask them what is going well and not so well with the current syllabus, what they like what they don’t like, what can be improved etc. Any suggestions for this review gladly received.




National updates relating to education and RE pdf icon PDF 321 KB



Refer to updates document in the agenda pack. Angela talked about some of the information included:


Angela shared slides relating to the recently published Ofsted Research Review on Religious Education. Slides are attached to these minutes.

Please see the slides attached. The report can be found here:

 Research review series: religious education - GOV.UK (

The syllabus review and CPD for teachers of RE will need to take this report into account.


‘What do we mean by religion and world views?’ There is a very useful resource for teachers and schools in the form of a short film called ‘Nobody stands nowhere’ Nobody Stands Nowhere - YouTube


NASACRE are running a session for SACREs on how they can better use data to inform their schools and support their conversations with the local authority. The session takes place on 22nd June 7-8pm on Zoom. Shahid Younis volunteered to attend.


Any updates that are relevant to teachers will be shared via Education News and via email to our RE contacts in schools.


NASACRE updates pdf icon PDF 365 KB



NASACRE has published a report on funding provided to SACREs. The report is included in the agenda pack. Emily has emailed to members (and will send again) the information she provided to NASACRE about the funding for the Wokingham SACRE. Emily is happy to take any questions members have in relation to this. Emily feels that the funding provided by the borough for the SACRE is sufficient to enable the SACRE to do all that it needs and wants to do. Emily will alert finance colleagues to the need for additional funding for the forthcoming syllabus review.


Feedback from NASACRE Conference/AGM


The conference took place on 24th May 2021. Angela and David attended. A summary documentwill be circulated to members and includes links to the recording of the AGM.


Anne Andrews has now been elected to the Executive.





We have received an email invitation from a local Hindu charity for Reading and Wokingham to a Teacher’s appreciation event on Friday 2nd July which will take place on Zoom. The hub has been asked to nominate a teacher to attend. If teacher who is a SACRE member would like to attend please let us know.


Paris has strong links with the Catholic Church in Wokingham and can provide contact details.


Stephen thanked all members for their commitment and contribution throughout what has been a very different and challenging year. Thank you to Emily the WBC representative, Catharine the newly appointed clerk and Angela our RE advisor.


Emily suggested that we review in the autumn term whether our next meeting is remote or in-person.


Part 2 – confidential items:

Stephen explained that he hasn’t yet written a letter to schools regarding RS provision at KS4 because schools have enough to do at the moment. This will be considered further and discussed between Stephen, Emily and Beth.



The meeting closed at 19.53



Dates of Next Meetings

Monday 8th November 2021 tbc; Monday 7th March 2022 tbc



Monday 8th November 2021 tbc; Monday 7th March 2022 tbc