Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead

Contact: Andy Carswell 

No. Item


Welcome then Reflection


The Chair welcomed Reverend Margaret Dudley ( Methodist Church representative) and Councillor Ilyas as new members to the SACRE forum. Members of the SACRE forum were delayed due to a traffic accident and the moment of reflection from Hillary Harris would be heard at the conclusion of the meeting.


Apologies For Absence


Apologies were received from Chris Sayers, Deborah Firth, Ravinder Zandu, Ceri Neil and Sally Lynch.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 217 KB

To receive any declarations of interest.



There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of Previous meeting held on the 28th November 2017 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To review and approve the minutes of the meeting held on November 28th 2017.


The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as an accurate record.


It was noted that actions relating to agenda item 8 that this wording should be amended to remove the wording “Information on Brent SACRE to be distributed to members”. Also that the minutes be amended to reflect that Reverend Sally Lynch was in attendance at the meeting held on the 28th November 2017.




Membership Update


Members were informed that no new teacher representatives had been appointed since the last meeting and that the recruitment process for a new member would continue. Margaret Dudley introduced herself as the Methodist Minister in the Thames Valley, with her main area as Windsor. She currently covers 5 churches, including St Marks Church whilst Gary Homewood’s replacement was sought. Margaret had also carried out the ‘Crossing Bridges’ training and had previously had employment as an RE teacher.


Constitution Review

To review the wording of SACRE’s Terms of Reference in the RBWM Constitution.


The Chair outlined the item and advised that there had been several circulations of the SACRE Constitution which had taken NASACRE advice into consideration. The Vice Chair and Anne Andrews had created new terms of reference to distinguish changes from the previous Constitutional document.


Discussion points included:-


Membership (Section 2)- Group C, had an ambition to include representative teachers, headteachers, departmental heads and to have a total of 6 representatives for all key stage levels. Changes included two head teachers with clarified terminology of posts required for membership purposes. The ideal configuration would be 2 primary school teachers, 2 secondary school teachers and two Head teachers/Departmental Heads, covering where possible a range of key stage types. Also that the term “associations” be removed and replaced by “representatives” in line with NASACRE guidance.


Terms of Office- NASACRE had advised four year terms of election.


Failure to attend 3 or more meetings without approval of SACRE would result in the termination of Membership for that individual. 


No longer representing a denomination- To amend the wording to “cease” to remove any air of doubt and to add “vested interest” after the appointment had ceased.


Action- The Chair to reword section relating to ‘no longer representing a denomination.’


Tied Vote- Previous decision making had been formed upon unanimity and it was agreed that each group would now hold 1 voting right each and the decision of the Chairman would be final. However it was noted that the vast amount of decisions taken by the forum would not require a vote but that this was a statutory measure.


Action- Anne Andrews to research co-optees on SACRE and impact upon public participation.


(Karen Butler and Hillary Harris joined the meeting)


Co-opted Member- It was noted that any co-optee could contribute to the discussion but would not hold a vote. The Chairman informed the group that there was no Humanist representation and whether the group would like to co-opt a Humanist representative. The Chair outlined that humanistic views are referenced through school syllabus. Members felt that humanist representation and non-religious world views would be in direct contradiction with the work around religious education in schools carried out by SACRE. Members felt that there was a low proportionality within the Census and that other religious and world views could be considered in the future with the appropriate data which would show representative needs of the borough.


ACTION- That the new draft be circulated to the group once changes have been made.


ACTION- That the final draft be approved at the next meeting.


Crossing the Bridges Report- Development and Sustainability

To receive an update from Karen Butler.


Karen Butler introduced the item to the group and informed Members of the hub forum meeting held on the 16th January 2018, where 6 Local Authorities (LAs) had attended. The forum thanked Karen for her ongoing contributions and commitments to the SACRE group. It was noted that the debates and discussions within the meeting was very positive and forward looking. There had been a focus on the development and building upon good work that had been carried out.


It was noted that there was no dedicated practitioner as Catherine Jinkerson had been seconded and that there was a need for the directory to be available to all teachers across Berkshire to use as a resource.


ACTION- That the Directory be uploaded to the RBWM SACRE website.


In order to enhance and develop the directory further, more funding was needed. After the launch of the new syllabus  more funding may become available for this purpose and the 6 authorities could pool together for the next phase of the project. With this money, an application for the WestHill Awards which promote effective RE and the specific emphasis for the year ahead was education into diversity. This would bring together various religious views and places of worship for young people. There had been a successful grant awarded in 2016. Karen would be making an application on behalf of SACRE for the WestHill award.


ACTION- Karen Butler to update the forum with progress of the application at the next meeting.


Crossing Bridges data had been used by schools but there had been limited feedback received or evidence based data to show how this data had been used in schools. Margaret Dudley informed the forum that the Crossing Bridges training had been useful and informative.




NASACRE Briefing

·         Non-Compliant Schools

·         NASACRE AGM Conference and;

·         20:20 RE Conference.  




Non- Compliant schools: The Chairman requested clarification surrounding the definition of “non-compliant schools”. Anne Andrews informed the group that the document detailing non-compliance had been compiled by NATRE from the data schools had submitted to a workforce data survey. Schools offering less than 5% of curriculum time to RE were deemed by this data to be non-compliant. Anne Andrews informed the forum that current recommendations for KS3 children was 45 hours per year, years 10 &11 was 40 hours per year and that there should be some RE taught in years 12-13. It was noted that all schools should have RE as part of their broader curriculums.


Some schools may have given 0% return as they promote RS (religious studies) with ethical and philosophical elements as opposed to RE (Religious education). Members discussed how “non-compliance”, could be seen as an emotive term and whether this could be redefined to another term. It was agreed that this would remain as “non-compliant” due to NASACRE recommendations. Members also discussed ways in which academies could be affected and Members were informed that a letter had been sent to all academies reminding them of their duties (for inclusion of religious studies) and of the assistance available to them.


The Launch of the new syllabus would provide a good opportunity to discuss issues with potentially non-compliant schools and ways in which to review practices. At present schools that had excelled in delivery of RE had provided platforms for lapsing schools to review and learn from them. For example, schools such as Altwood and Churchwood had implemented ambassadors and this was an active and ongoing piece of work.


NASACRE AGM Conference: The Forum were informed that the upcoming conference would be held on the 24th May 2018 and the cost per delegate was £100 each.  It was agreed that Barbara and Reverend Rosie Webb would attend subject to budget considerations.


20:20 RE Conference:  The forum were informed that the next conference would be held in October in Crewe. At present there was no figure for costings but that an invitation would be sent to all teachers asking for attendance subject to budget. Members agreed that it would be good utilisation of funds to allow two attendees to partake. 


ACTION- That Clive Haines would compile and distribute invitations to all relevant invitees.





SACRE's Teacher Training and Support

That the forum receive an update on sessions that have been run and an outline of future programmes.


Anne Andrews reminded the forum that the next training dates had been scheduled for the 19th March 2018 at the Royal School and that presently the number of attendees had not been confirmed. It was hoped that this would provide a good opportunity for all individuals to introduce themselves, share best practice and encourage localised discussions.


Budget Update 2018/19

That the forum be updated with details of 2018/19 budget.


Clive Haines, Schools Leadership Development Manager (RBWM) outlined the budget report. The report had been split into two parts due to inclusion of AFC (Achieving for Children). It was noted that at the end of the year there would be a (£33) deficit and that moving forward, the new budget would be announced on the 1st April 2018. Positively a lot had been done with the allocated funding for the year, which included the launch of the curriculum conference. It was confirmed that the cost of the adviser would remain the same. It was estimated that the yearly budget would come in at approximately £4,000, but this was subject to announcement.


ACTION- That Clive Haines will check the budget amounts for both conferences and circulate information to the group at the next meeting.




Inspection Reports


It was requested that the Ofsted and SIAM reports be noted by the forum and that in September 2018 a new framework would be issued. This would raise the bar for voluntary controlled schools standards. SIAMs reports were conducted every 5 years and there had been two carried out in RBWM since September 2017.


Any Other Business


·         Babara Meaney invited Members of the SACRE group to attend an RE lesson being taught.

·         Karen Butler to action, lead and pioneer continued visits to schools.

·         The Chairman discussed details of the Interfaith dialogue which takes place on Tuesdays and reminded Members of these details through a pamphlet which was handed out.

·         WAMCF- Paul Samuels was working with Karnail Pannu to enable conversations to occur, with the ambition to take these into schools.


At the conclusion of the meeting, Hilary Harris led the moment of reflection.