Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead

Contact: Andy Carswell 

No. Item


Election of Chairman and Vice Chairman

To elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman of the committee for the next year.


Cllr Kellaway proposed Michael Gammage as Chairman of SACRE. This was seconded by Cllr Majeed and agreed unanimously by members.


Louise Ceska proposed Karen Butler as Vice Chairman. This was seconded by Clive Haines and agreed unanimously by members.




Karen Butler welcomed members to the meeting.


Apologies For Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Ravinder Singh Zandu, Deborah Firth, Barbara Meaney, Ila Gangotra, Liz Jenkins, Felicity Gunn and Joan Hicks.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 133 KB

To receive any declarations of interest.


No declarations of interest were noted.


Michael Gammage arrived at the meeting at 6.10pm.


Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To receive and agree the minutes of the meeting held on 15th June.


The minutes of the meeting held on June 15th were unanimously agreed.


Members discussed matters arising.





To contact Free Church regarding representation

Karen Butler

Ceri Neil nominated to replace Melody Erasmus

Collate responses on NASACRE report and circulate to members before sending to NASACRE

Anne Andrews

Responses collated but no feedback received. To be recirculated before being sent to NASACRE

Rotary and Lions groups to be contacted regarding sponsorship

Michael Gammage



Karen Butler said that the Rotary Club and Lions Club had been contacted in an attempt to source funding for the Visiting Places of Worship scheme, but this had been unsuccessful. The Chairman said he had contacted Three about sourcing funding but had not heard back from them.


Cllr Airey said it was possible to source up to £750 from each Councillor’s annual Member Budget. She suggested setting up a sub group meeting of the Council representatives of SACRE, along with Anne Andrews, to discuss ways of finding funding for the project.


ACTION: A sub group to be set up and the clerk to arrange a meeting in January.


Membership Update


The clerk informed members that Felicity Gunn had regrettably resigned from SACRE due to a change in her personal commitments.


Karen Butler told members that she had asked about the Methodist representative’s ability to continue as a member, as he had not attended any meetings in the last year. However he had not responded.


ACTION: Anne Andrews to contact the Area Dean to seek a replacement for Felicity Gunn.


Annual Report pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To receive and discuss the 2015/16 annual SACRE report.


Anne Andrews explained to members that the Annual Report had been written in accordance with a revised template. The completed report would be sent to NASACRE and the Secretary of State for Education.


The main points for noting were:


·         It was hard to hold schools to account in relation to RE teaching as Ofsted did not either, and SACRE had difficulty in capturing information.


·         SACRE was trying to find funding for school trips


·         Additional RE exam results would be added on to the end of the report when they became available.


·         The membership and attendance register incorrectly stated the summer term meeting took place in July and there was a sentence that needed to be re-worded in order for it to make sense.


Anne Andrews informed members that she had been asked to do Respect and Tolerance training with NQTs and School Direct Trainees for a second time.


Ceri Neil arrived at the meeting at 6.35pm.


Karen Butler asked if SACRE could be involved in rescinding and granting determinations.


Cllr Airey suggested that the teacher survey should be made on an annual basis, to allow teachers the opportunity to provide feedback. A forum to discuss teacher views on the syllabus and curriculum was suggested. Anne Andrews informed members that an RE Network meeting was taking place at Trevelyan School on January 24th and it was suggested that the idea of a forum could be discussed there.


ACTION: Anne Andrews to submit the Annual Report, once the suggested amendments had been made.



Results of RE exams in the Royal Borough

To compare and discuss the provisional results of this year’s RE GCSE exams with the confirmed results of last year’s exams.


The provisional results of the 2015/16 GCSE RE exams were compared to the confirmed results of the 2014/15 exams, using information supplied to the Council by the Fischer Family Trust. However members said that the information from the FFT lacked context, and they felt that results across three years should be compared.


Clive Haines told members that no further information relating to the 2015/16 results had been supplied to the Council since October 12th, when the provisional results were collated.


Members requested that the full results for 2015/16, along with a detailed commentary from an Education Officer, be considered at the next SACRE meeting.


Update on Crossing the Bridges Project pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive and review a report on the Pan Berkshire Hub and the Crossing the Bridges project.

Additional documents:


Karen Butler told members that the Phase 2 launch conference of the Pan-Berkshire Hub held at Winnersh Triangle on September 28th was very enjoyable and featured some serious and stimulating debates. The SACRE was represented by Karen Butler, Hilary Harris, Joan Hicks and Saghir Ahmed.


The Chairman asked why there was such a limited turnout of teachers at the Hub. Anne Andrews suggested it was because the meeting had been arranged for too early in the term, and the SACRE had not had the opportunity to discuss representation at any of its meetings.


Anne Andrews said that two training events, looking at the purpose of RE and the locally agreed syllabus, were taking place the following week.


Anne Andrews said a Crossing the Bridges Directory of places of worship, which would be a resource that could be accessed by schools, was being collated by Catherine Jinkerson. She would contact each of the six SACREs across Berkshire to develop links with schools, RE teachers and places of worship.


RE Teacher Training and Support

To receive a verbal update on RE teacher training and support.


Anne Andrews informed members that RE training for primary and secondary school teachers had not yet taken place this term and was scheduled for November 15th; therefore there was no update for members.


Clive Haines left the meeting at 7.30pm.


Review of Tell MAMA Annual Report pdf icon PDF 8 MB

To consider the contents of the report from Tell MAMA, summarising research in relation to anti-Islam hate crimes.


Members were told that the item had been included in the agenda at the suggestion of NASACRE as it had implications for RE teaching; however the report did not have any information specifically relevant to the Royal Borough.


Cllr Majeed reported that Holyport College had recently been subjected to a series of abusive anti-Islamic messages on social media after the school announced that some of its pupils were visiting a local mosque.


Cllr Airey said that reporting of hate crimes was a police matter and in terms of combatting it there was little that SACRE could do. In terms of Council action, Cllr Airey said that Community Wardens were used to build community support and cohesion and Council officers had worked with the police.


Anthea West asked if the social media aspect raised in the report could be covered as a teaching aspect in RE lessons in secondary schools. Cllr Airey said that there had been a notable rise in self harm and suicide rates amongst secondary school pupils as a result of anonymous online abuse they had received.


NASACRE Constitutional Changes pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To discuss and vote on proposed changes to the NASACRE constitution.


It was noted by members that the proposed amendments were very small and related chiefly to reducing the number of people required to vote in order to pass resolutions. It was explained that the amendments could not be passed at the NASACRE AGM as there were not enough attendees.


Members voted unanimously to agree the proposed changes.


ACTION: Anne Andrews to fill in the online form to inform NASACRE that members had agreed to the changes.


Building Respectful Schools and Societies pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To note the contents of a letter sent to Education Secretary Justine Greening signed on behalf of NASACRE by chairman Paul Smalley, and to welcome feedback from members.


Members noted the letter; however it was felt that the language used in it was hard to understand and it did not make any suggested resolutions.


ACTION: Anne Andrews to contact NASACRE to give them feedback to this effect.


Any Other Business

To note any other items of business.


The clerk reminded members of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education’s training course ‘Encountering Faith in the RE Classroom’ on March 17th, 2017. Anne Andrews stated that the SACRE was entitled to send a member to the meeting free of charge.


Karen Butler asked if tea and coffee could be provided at future meetings. The clerk agreed to have refreshments provided at the next meeting.


ACTION: The clerk to circulate the meeting brochure and booking form to all SACRE members to gauge interest in attending.


ACTION: The clerk to provide refreshments for members at future meetings.


Dates of Future Meetings

To note that the next meeting is scheduled for March 13th 2017.


Members noted that the next meeting is scheduled for March 13th, 2017.


Karen Butler asked if members felt an additional meeting was needed in January, as had been suggested last year. However it was felt there were no urgent items for review and members agreed no meeting was necessary. The Chairman said that if necessary the subject of arranging an additional meeting would be discussed at the next SACRE meeting.