Agenda and draft minutes

Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education
Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 2.00 pm

Venue: Park Community School, Middle Park Way, Havant, PO9 4BU

Contact: Email: members.services@hants.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

2019-06-25 SACRE presentation by Chris May

Prior to the start of the main meeting Mr Chris May, Head of RE at Park Community School, gave a presentation on what RE looks like in the school, why they feel it is important and the impact they are beginning to see from ensuring all students study the subject. 

 

83.

Broadcasting Announcement

Minutes:

 

The Chairman announced that the press and members of the public were permitted to film and broadcast the meeting.  Those remaining at the meeting were consenting to being filmed and recorded, and to the possible use of those images and recording for broadcasting purposes.

 

84.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Caroline Welch, Howard Wright, Gill Heron, Rhian Jones, Julie Kelly, Pam Brown, Sushma Sahajpal, Harmeet Singh Brar, Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo, Yasmeen Hussain, Graeme Rowe, Chris Robinson  and Patricia Timms Blanch.

 

85.

Declarations of Interest

 

All Members who believe they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting must declare that interest and, having regard to Part 3 Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members’ Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code.  Furthermore all Members with a Personal Interest in a matter being considered at the meeting should consider, having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 4 of the Code, whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 5 of the Code, consider whether it is appropriate to leave the meeting while the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.

 

Minutes:

Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in any matter considered at the meeting they must declare that interest at the time of the relevant debate and, having regard to the circumstances described in Part 3 Paragraph 1.5 of the County Council's Members' Code of Conduct, leave the meeting while the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with Paragraph 1.6 of the Code. Furthermore Members were mindful that where they believed they had a Personal interest in a matter being considered at the meeting they considered whether such interest should be declared, and having regard to Part 5, Paragraph 4 of the Code, considered whether it was appropriate to leave the meeting whilst the matter was discussed, save for exercising any right to speak in accordance with the Code.

 

86.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting on 5 March 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting on 5 March 2019 were agreed as an accurate record and signed by the chairman.

87.

Matters Arising

To consider any matters arising from the Minutes of the meeting on 5 March 2019.

Minutes:

Members were given updates on a number of matters arising from the minutes of the last meeting.

 

Item 72 (page 7) Recommendations – action on the recommendations to contact the Regional Schools Commissioner regarding training and initiating a South East regional meeting of SACRE chairs is in process in light of changes to the Ofsted framework.  This would be taken up in the Autumn meeting of the South Central SACRE Hub.

 

Item 76  (page 9) – Recommendation 3 – it was noted that there was a re-emergence of a large gap between girls and boys taking RE in some schools.  It was suggested that the new GCSE had increased the amount of writing which could be a factor. The Monitoring Group will look further after a second year of GCSE results.

 

Item 77 (page 10) Recommendation 2: Governor Services had been approached and also agreed it would be a good idea to co-opt a governor onto SACRE.

 

Item 81 (page 11) Patricia Hannam informed members the Dr Wright had visited on 5 June, but the launch of the Religious Literacy Research Report had been put back until the autumn.

88.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any Chairman’s announcements.

Minutes:

Councillor Perry introduced himself as the new  Chairman of SACRE as Councillor Roz Chadd had been made the Executive Member for Education.  He expressed his appreciation for the contribution Councillor Chadd had made to SACRE over the last nine years.  He informed Members that Councillor Choudhary was now the Chairman of the County Council for 2019/20.

 

Chris Anders and Chris May were thanked for hosting the meeting and providing an interesting and informative presentation on RE in Park School.

 

It was announced that the Sikh representative Harmeet Sing Brar had resigned and the Mrs Pam Brown, the co-opted member for special schools was retiring.  Replacements would be sought for them.

 

 

 

89.

Deputations

To receive any deputations.

Minutes:

There were no deputations.

90.

Membership Report pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To receive a report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services on changes to the membership of SACRE.

Minutes:

SACRE received a report from Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Advisor  informing members of changes to membership of Group D (item 7 in the Minute Book). 

 

Apart from the changes to the Local Authority representatives, it was also noted that there continued to be a vacancy for a Roman Catholic representative and with the recent resignations also vacancies for a Sikh and Special School teacher.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

SACRE noted the County Councillor appointments made at the AGM on 17 May 2019 and the vacancy on Group D that will be filled at the next County Council meeting.

91.

Monitoring Group pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To consider a report from the director of Children’s Services on the discussions and findings of the monitoring group in relation to monitoring the effectiveness of the Agreed Syllabus, Living Difference III, across Hampshire.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

SACRE considered a report from Patricia Hannam, County Inspector/Adviser, on the discussions of the Monitoring Group at its meeting on 20 May 2019.

 

Following on from a recommendation from the previous meeting regarding monitoring more schools more effectively the Monitoring group had agreed to run a series of ‘invitational courses’ aimed at schools that have been harder to reach. The effectiveness of this approach would be reviewed regularly by the Monitoring Group.

 

The letter from the Department for Education to NASACRE concerning non-compliance of schools to teach RE to all pupils through to year 11 was discussed.  Members were asked to note that the letter clearly states that RE should be taught to the agreed syllabus throughout secondary school and, therefore, SACRE and the Monitoring Group should be more proactive in calling schools to account and encouraging compliance.

 

The results of the latest withdrawal survey had shown a slight  increase in the numbers withdrawn from RE or Collective Worship, but it was still well below 1% and below the national average. The majority of withdrawals were from Jehovah’s Witness and Plymouth Brethren families.  The Head of Park Community School commented that as a result of improving the RE at the school there had been no withdrawals and no parental concerns raised about the curriculum.  The survey would continue to be sent annually.

 

The Monitoring Group were continuing to monitor the use of the Church of England resource ‘Understanding Christianity’, a resource recommended by the Diocese for use in all Church schools.  There was a need to ensure that it was not being used to replace the cycle of enquiry in Living Difference III.

 

Following up a recommendation for the Monitoring Group to investigate the choices made by boys in relation to RE and the re-emerging gender gap it was suggested that the Monitoring Group should try and investigate why children choose to do RE for GCSE if they have the option.  From the results of this strategies could be developed to encourage more to take it.

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

SACRE noted the report.

92.

NASACRE AGM pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To receive a report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services on matters discussed at the NASACRE AGM on 22 May 2019.

Minutes:

Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Adviser informed Members that she had attended the NASACRE AGM on 22 May 2019 on behalf of SACRE, along with Elizabeth Jenkerson, the Baha’i representative who was also on the NASACRE executive. She encouraged everyone to take the opportunity to go.

 

The speech by the Head of RE of a north Liverpool comprehensive school had been particularly inspirational and it was aimed to ask him to talk at the Hampshire Secondary RE Conference. 

 

There had been discussion about the Commission on RE report; Paul Smalley the Chair ofNASACRE had made strong representations to various RE bodies against getting rid of SACREs, which had been advocated in the report, and this was now being reconsidered.

 

NASACRE wanted to ensure its activities are fully representative of SACREs interests. Members were, therefore,  encouraged to read the newsletter that is sent regularly and to visit the NASACRE website which has a variety of interesting topics.  Hampshire is a member organisation and a password has been issued to access the locked content areas of the site. 

93.

Report to SACRE on the Commission on RE (CoRE) and the Activities of the Religious Education Council (REC) pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To receive a report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services on further developments following the final report of The Commission on RE and activities of the Religious Education Council since the last SACRE meeting on 5 March 2019.

Minutes:

The Council received a report from Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector /Advisor, on the key issues discussed at the REC AGM on 16 May 2019.

 

It was noted that the Commission on RE had finished but the recommendations were being taken forward by the REC. She drew Members’ attention to point 7 in the report which mentioned the grouping of the recommendations into those that could be implemented immediately, some that could be implemented with some specific work and those that would need further consideration due to their contentious nature.  She indicated that there was a desire for discussion to find common denominators across the country which could lead the way towards the content of a National Entitlement for RE.

94.

Ofsted Update

To receive a verbal report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services regarding the likely impact on RE of the new Ofsted Inspection Framework from September 2019.

Minutes:

SACRE received a verbal report from Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Adviser, on the likely impact on RE of the new Ofsted Inspection Framework from September 2019.

 

Following the last SACRE meeting a group of members had met to formulate a response to Ofsted, which was attached to the minutes of the last meeting.  It was noted that very little had changed following the consultation and the inspectors would be looking closely at the inspection reports that would be made in the Autumn term. 

 

Chris Anders, the Head of Park Community School, commented that the new framework appeared to put more emphasis on the breadth of the curriculum when looking at the quality of education. At his school he had chosen for pupils to follow the full course GCSE in RE;  although the resulting grades may not necessarily be very good, he hoped inspectors would see the intention of their curriculum was to provide pupils with more breadth and to ensure young people were well-prepared for life in modern Britain.

 

 

95.

SACRE Youth Voice


To receive a verbal report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services on the activities of SACRE Youth Voice since the SACRE meeting on 5 March 2019.

Minutes:

The Council received a verbal report from Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Adviser on the activities of the SACRE Youth Voice since the last SACRE meeting on 5 March 2019 (Item 12 in the Minute Book).

 

Members were reminded that the 5th Youth Voice Conference would be held in Winchester on 11 July and encouraged members to attend and become involved. The theme would be ‘How do we know what is right and wrong in society? What might cause it to change?’

 

The 3rd Primary Youth Voice Conference had been held in the north of the county, facilitated by Youth Voice members from Cove School.  Their theme had been ‘Neighbour’ and had included two speakers, a Church of England vicar and a muslim.  Thornden School would shortly be hosting a Primary Youth Voice Conference for  the south of the county.

 

 

96.

South Central SACRE Hub

To receive a verbal report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services on the activities of the South Central SACRE RE Hub, in particular the Reading and Research Group.

Minutes:

The Council received a verbal report from Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Adviser on the activities of the Hub (Item 13 in the Minute Book). 

 

It was noted that the Hub had not met this term, but the dates of the next meetings were 27 November 2019 and 5 March 2020. 

 

Members were encouraged to attend the free Reading and Research Group meetings set up by the Hub and held at Winchester University.  The dates for these are 12 November 2019 on Judaism, 25 February 2020 on Non-Conformist Christianity and 23 June 2020 on Sikhism.

 

 

 

97.

Any Other Business

To receive any other business from Members of SACRE.

Minutes:

Members were alerted to a potential phishing scam email sent to some schools purporting to be a parent wanting an urgent meeting with the Head of RE. It was noted that it appeared to be countrywide.  Patricia Hannam indicated that she would make schools aware via the RE Moodle.

 

Thanks were given to Chris Anders and Chris May of Park School for their hospitality.

98.

Date, Time and Venue of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 5 November 2019 in the Ashburton Hall, Hampshire County Council, Winchester. The meeting will start at 2.00pm following a pre-meeting presentation at 1.30pm.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as Tuesday 5 November in the Ashburton Hall, Hampshire County Council, Winchester.