Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead

Contact: Nabihah Hassan-Farooq  01628796345

No. Item




The Chair introduced all attendees to the meeting. Clare Theobalds, representative for the Kings Church (Free Churches) was welcomed to the Forum as a new SACRE member.


Apologies For Absence


Apologies of absence were received from Reverend Margaret Dudley, Cllr Ilyas, Reverend Sally Lynch, Louise Ceska and Deborah Firth.


Minutes Of Meeting on 8/11/2018 pdf icon PDF 87 KB


Members made the following amendments to the minutes of the meeting held on the 8th November 2018, as follows;


·         Page 6- amend to remove paragraph with reference to the Crossing the  Bridges directory.

·         Page 6- Move the recommended action to read more succinctly with the content.


RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on the 8th November 2018 be approved subject to the amendments as listed above.



Membership Update


The Panel welcomed Clare Theobalds to the meeting. There were no other updates received.




This item was deferred to the next meeting and would be led by Saghir Ahmed.


Budget Update

To receive a verbal update from Clive Haine, Schools Leadership Development Manager (AFC) on the above titled item.


Clive Haines, ( Schools Leadership Development Manager – RBWM) gave a verbal update on the above titled item. Members were informed that there would be £980 left in the budget by the close of the month. An invoice had been received for the 2019/2020 period for the five days support that would be received. Members were informed that the budget was in a healthy position and would be carried forward into the next year. It was also outlined that since the last meeting, that no requests for training cost re-imbursement had been made by schools and teachers and that it would be good to encourage practitioners to consider applying. Members suggested that this information be sent out to all relevant networks, outlining the decision taken by the SACRE group in November, to contribute towards costs of training where a school or individual practitioner were not able to fund this.


ACTION: That Anne Andrews circulate the information pertaining to SACRE allocation of funds for RE practitioner training purposes.



Annual reports and results

To receive an update from Clive Haines, Schools Leadership Development Manager (AFC) and Anne Andrews on the above titled item.


Anne Andrews (Professional Advisor), outlined the above titled item. Members were informed that the Annual Report 2017-2018 had been approved at the last meeting but that this had been subject to results. It was updated that several schools were awaiting on the final results and that the Forum would be updated on this accordingly.


ACTION: Anne Andrews to circulate results where appropriate and with consent of schools.


The Forum was told that attainment was broadly aligned and that there had been improvement with one school in the 2017 period.. Some schools had a smaller cohort of pupils noted as electing to have RE as a subject and this had made those schools look more favourable with their pass rates per pupil. Members were told that results were aligned with national data and that there had been a downward trend across RBWM for the percentage of pupils electing to take RE. Members discussed whether the annual report should be shared with schools and it was confirmed that Anne Andrews would submit the Annual report to the Department for Education and NASACRE but that the report was not intended to be circulated to schools. Barbara Meaney queried whether there would be a benefit in schools receiving the Annual report and it was confirmed that the termly newsletters gave more benefit for practitioners and schools. Councillor Kellaway noted that the SACRE needed a clearer focus on the schools where there had been no uptake in RE as an elected subject. The Forum agreed that there had been challenges with engaging with some schools who had no children studying RE as an elected subject.  



SACRE Constitution pdf icon PDF 845 KB

To receive an update on the above titled item.


Michael Gammage ( Chair of the SACRE), gave a verbal update on the above titled item. Members were reminded that previous ambitions to refresh the SACRE Constitution had been made and that there had been two versions available to members. Members were told that changes to the SACRE constitution included:


·         Group C- to include both KS1 & KS2 representatives ( a decision made by the SACRE group in 2018)

·         Annex 4 (1)(a)-  to include the agreed syllabus in all “maintained schools” and that a footnote would be provided for further clarification.

·         Terms of office to be moved under terms of reference.


It was agreed that if Members felt that they had any comments or changes to be made that these should be forwarded to the Chair.


ACTION: That Michael Gammage circulate the final version of the SACRE Constitution with included amendments to the SACRE group.


Councillor Airey queried whether there should be formal complaints process outlined within the SACRE constitution. Members noted that any changes to the Constitution would be subject to Full Council approval.


ACTION: That Michael Gammage checked complaints procedures on the NASACRE website for guidance on this matter.


ACTION: That Anne Andrews check whether any other SACRE Constitution has a process for complaints outlined within their Constitution.


At the conclusion of the update, Members agreed that all changes should be circulated and agreed via email for approval for onward submission to Full Council.




Hub Update pdf icon PDF 172 KB

·         Guidance material- distribution details.


 Karen Butler (Vice Chair) outlined the above titled item. Members were updated that there had been a good Hub meeting at Wokingham and that there had been a focus in keeping the Crossing The Bridges directory up to date. Anne Andrews highlighted that there had been progress around the Westhill Bid and funding and that there would need to be a dedicated individual who would be able to check and amend the Crossing the Bridges Directory accordingly. Members discussed that it would be most beneficial to have a SACRE member volunteer and dedicate time to the updating of the directory. Members were invited to volunteer or inform the Chair of their availability to volunteer. The Forum were informed that the outcome of the Westhill project would not be confirmed until June and that if successful, the available monies would not be available until later this year. 


It was highlighted that there was a need to find more places of worship to be included as part of the Agreed Syllabus Guidance and materials for practitioners. Anne Andrews stated that she had met with David Reece and that it was agreed that the guidance would need professional input and further work. The Forum were told that samples had been produced by teachers with outcomes at the last RE Network Meeting and that KS1 guidance on Christianity for the syllabus was not available as of yet.


ACTION: That Anne Andrews circulates the EYFS materials to the SACRE group.


Karen Butler informed the Forum that there had been collaborative work carried out in relation to bringing interfaith groups together by SACRE groups across Berkshire. Members were asked where the syllabus guidance should be hosted and it was agreed that the guidance should be held centrally and electronically where it could be accessed easily. Anne Andrews informed the Forum that she would take issue this forward. Members were reminded that the maximum amount for the Westhill bid application was £4000. Karen Butler queried whether the Hub would be able to be fully funded but it was felt that there was information to be shared and that this was useful for all local SACREs. The Chair agreed that collaborative working could produce many useful documents. Anne Andrews commented that if the Westhill bid proposal was unsuccessful RBWM would need to allocate funds for the development of more guidance materials. Members were informed that currently the guidance material was incomplete and that more work was needed.


The Forum were told that the next Hub meeting would be held on the 13th May 2019 at Wokingham Borough Council and that the NASACRE meeting would be held the following week.


ACTION: To add an agenda item- Hub meeting update for the next SACRE meeting.


Barbara Meaney queried whether the Hub could host the guidance and syllabus materials on their own dedicated website but there were concerns about the lifespan of the Hub. Members discussed a possible Autumn Conference. This had been successful in the past but that there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 172.


Westhill bid update pdf icon PDF 103 KB


Anne Andrews, outlined the above titled item. Members were informed that NASACRE required projects that would include interfaith contacts and community cohesion. It was intended that groups of teachers would visit local places of worship and interview faith leaders, record answers and this would form part of the guidance material documents. Members were told that the Westhill bid had been submitted and approved by SACRE chairs. Colleagues were told that if the bid was successful that the £900 left in the budget would need to be apportioned to the project for advisor time. [AA1] 


 [AA1]I don’t think we were that precise. The hub would need the £900 and some of that would go on adviser time, but would supplement the project in other ways too.


RE Network Update


Anne Anne Andrews updated the Forum on the above titled item. Members were told that the last Network meeting had been held at Charters School and had been well attended. It was noted that all members of the RE faculty had attended. Questions that had been generated at the meeting were now being used for the guidance materials. The next meeting will be held on the 19th March at Holyport Primary School. The meeting would focus on looking at Spring festivals, such as Holi, Vasaikhi as well as Easter. Members were reminded that these meetings begin at 3.45 and end at 5.15pm


OFSTED: New Framework- proposals on RE pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Additional documents:


Anne Andrews outlined the above titled item. Members were informed that SACRE oversaw RE in Voluntarily Controlled and maintained schools. It was highlighted that as part of the new framework that there was a consultation phase being held in relation to the teaching of RE and collective worship in schools. Clive Haines informed the Forum that this would be held at the end of the month, followed by the final consultation and the pilot would then begin. Members were pleased that Ofsted had made reference to RE and that there was a focus on the teaching of RE and collective worship in schools. Members felt that the new framework proposals would be bring breadth and flexibility back into the curriculum and that there was a clear focus on quality of education for pupils. SACRE members were encouraged to engage with the consultation and submit their thoughts on the draft and its proposals. 



Monitoring of new syllabus pdf icon PDF 164 KB


Anne Andrews gave an update on the above titled item. Members were informed that there was a statutory duty for SACRE to monitor and evaluate RE and Collective Worship. It was highlighted that Ceri Neil and Karen Butler had attempted to observe lessons but had been unable to progress this further. Barbara Meaney and Karen Butler agreed that they would liaise to find a time where lessons could be observed. Members were reminded that SACRE groups send out a letter to schools to ask them questions relating to the RE teaching over the past year and members were asked how this information should be collated. Barbara Meaney explained that the Windsor Schools Partnership met once a term and that teachers met to moderate marking of pupils’ work. It was noted that these sessions proved to be incredibly useful as they were able to compare books and this gave teachers a good platform to see how other schools marked their pupils’ work in comparison to theirs.


ACTION: That Barbara Meaney feedback at the next meeting in relation to middle schools data and what was learnt at the Windsor Partnership meeting.


The Forum understood that these sessions would raise the standard of marking across the board and were welcomed. Clive Haines stated that there were cluster meetings with schools across the borough who also carried out similar exercises where marking was moderated and that this helped practitioners greatly as levels of achievement had been removed for pupils.


Clare Theobalds suggested that school website research could prove to be very useful as information could be collated in relation to RE and collective worship. Members agreed that this would be a good way of understanding what individual schools offered their pupils and agreed to carry out the website research. Members felt that a limited response would be received from Head-teachers if a letter was sent and that it was better to discuss with practitioners directly.


ACTION: That Anne Andrews email a list of research questions to SACRE group members with a specified school for the intended website trawl.


Members revisited the concern they had raised earlier in the meeting relating to schools which had zero uptake of RE and it was confirmed that work was being carried out with one particular school later this year.  Members expressed their dissatisfaction with schools that had limited or no uptake of RE as a subject. Clive Haines informed the Forum that there were meetings for secondary school teachers and cluster groups of headteachers (BASH meetings) and asked whether it would be appropriate for an RBWM rep to attend. Members felt that this could be insensitive and that it may prove better to have feedback from Louise Ceska (Headteacher of Newlands School) and whether the SACRE could present at a future meeting with regards to how they could support schools and the teaching of RE/collective worship.



Upcoming Newsletter- Suggestion of items


Anne Andrews asked whether SACRE members had any good new stories or events that they wished to be included in the upcoming newsletter. Members were asked whether they wished to include a particular festival or religious observation and that this would be included within the content. There would be a focus on what had happened over the Easter period and the newsletter would be looking ahead at the upcoming year.  Any suggestions of items were welcomed. Ravinder Zandu highlighted that it would be the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak on the 12thNovember 2019 and asked for this to be included. Members were asked to forward all suggestions to the clerk by the 31st March 2019. 



Any Other Business


Hilary Haris informed the Forum that the Institute of Education ( University of Reading) were offering a PGCE and that there had been a limited number of applicants. It was requested that Anne Andrews included this with the newsletter.


SACRE members agreed that Barbara Meaney would attend the NASACRE AGM (May 22nd) and that the cost would be covered by the Forum.


Dates Of Future Meetings

-       To be confirmed


The dates of the next meetings were as follows:


·         16/07/2019 – venue TBC

·         19/11/2019- venue TBC

·         17/03/2020 – venue TBC


Members requested that the next meeting be held at Altwood School. Anne Andrews to check availability.