Agenda and draft minutes

Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education - Tuesday, 3rd March, 2020 2.15 pm

Venue: Ashburton Hall, Winchester

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

Items
No. Item

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

112.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Howard Wright, Yasmeen Hussain, Rhiannon Love, Alasdair Richardson, Amanda Cawood, Jon Hamer, Graeme Rowe, Caroline Welch, Councillor Zilliah Brooks.

 

113.

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.

 

Justine Ball declared that she works one day a month for NATRE as an RE ambassador for the South East.

Elizabeth Jenkerson noted that she was a judge for the Westhill Awards which gives grants to SACREs.

 

114.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 230 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 5 November 2019 were agreed as an accurate record and signed by the Chairman.

 

The Chairman drew Members’ attention to the two letters attached to the minutes;  the letter sent to the Director of Children’s Services regarding RE at Key Stage 4 and the response.  Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Advisor for RE informed Members that she had met with David Hardcastle, the CEM (County Education Manager, Secondary and Post 16) to discuss developing a core RE course for all Key Stage 4 students that was  high quality, interesting and intellectually challenging.

115.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any Chairman’s announcements.

Minutes:

The Chairman informed members that Darren Clark, one of the Buddhist representatives had resigned from SACRE due to work commitments.  He had said the prayers at the County Council meeting in February.

 

The Chairman noted  that the NASACRE AGM would be held on 18 May in London and that he and Justine Ball, the Primary Inspector/Adviser would be attending.

 

The Chairman thanked Christine Robinson for attending the South-West SACRE conference on 2 March 2020 on behalf of SACRE and invited her to say a few words about the day.  She told Members that she had found it very interesting; the key note speaker had been Professor Trevor Cooling, the Chairman of the Religious Education Council who had been part of the Commission.   He spoke about the report and what had happened since, indicating that the report was not gathering dust, but alive and things were happening.  She had attending workshops in the afternoon on the RE Quality Mark and the new 2019 Ofsted framework and the monitoring of RE.

 

The Chairman announced that he would be attending a seminar for Councillors by the Jewish South Coast.

116.

Deputations

To receive any deputations.

Minutes:

There were no deputations.

117.

SACRE membership pdf icon PDF 115 KB

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

 

Minutes:

SACRE received a report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services informing members of changes to membership (item 6 in the Minute Book).

 

Charmian Harrison was replacing Colin How as the Methodist representative on Group A. 

 

The Teachers’ Associations, Group C, had been without a full member and a deputy following resignations.  This had been addressed by the Teachers’ Liaison Panel with the appointment of Carson Elday as a full member representing special schools.  Rachel Jackson and Jon Hamer, currently co-opted members representing primary schools and sixth form colleges respectively, had been appointed deputies.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.     That SACRE noted the appointment of Charmian Harrison as the new Methodist representative on Group A, replacing Colin How.

 

2.    That SACRE noted the appointment of Carson Elday as a representative on Group C, the Teachers’ Associations, and Rachel Jackson and Jon Hamer as deputies on this group.

 

 

 

 

118.

Monitoring Group pdf icon PDF 310 KB

To receive a report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services updating SACRE on the recent activities and discussions of the monitoring group, including the meeting that took place on 21 January 2020.

 

Minutes:

SACRE considered a report from Patricia Hannam, the County  Inspector/Adviser for RE on the discussions of the Monitoring Group (item 7 in the Minute Book).

 

From the report, the Chairman of the Monitoring Group, Chris Hughes, drew attention to three paragraphs; 10,  the decline in entering all students for the full course GCSE, 13, the effect of the number of hours given by schools to teach RS GCSE on the results achieved,  and 16, the start of the review of the Agreed Syllabus.  Questionnaires would be going to all schools for feedback on the use and effectiveness of the current Agreed Syllabus.  It was pointed out that the review would need to take account of the conclusions of the recent RE Commission report.  Members who were interested in being part of the review were asked to keep 10 July 2020 in their diaries and to inform the clerk or Patricia Hannam of their interest. 

 

Members were informed that the REC had sought funding for a time-limited piece of research, a literature review, on the concept of worldviews; it was suggested that this should have been done before the Commission report was written.  Patricia Hannam is part of the review team on this.

 

Attention was drawn by Patricia Hannam to paragraph 12, FSM6 (Free School Meals 6, those students who have received free school meals in the last six years) and the concern that these students continue to do less well than their peers. It was noted that the numbers of these students vary from school to school and the County Inspector/Adviser agreed to bring the figures to the next SACRE meeting.  It was suggested that the Monitoring Group could make this a specific project for them to try and address.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That SACRE thanked the Monitoring Group for their report.

2.    That SACRE noted the withdrawal survey and recommended that the survey is conducted annually to monitor withdrawal from RE and collective worship.

119.

Hampshire SACRE Advice Document for Schools on Religion and Faith pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To consider a report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services providing an update on the meeting held to review the Hampshire Advice Document for schools on religion and faith.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

SACRE received a report from Justine Ball, the Primary Inspector/Adviser on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services on the review of the Hampshire Advice Document for Schools on Religion and Faith.

 

The working group, which had met on 9 December 2019, felt that the document was very useful for schools and had proposed only a small number of amendments. These were explained with reference to clause 3 of the report and the appendix on page 47. Members were informed that there would be additional paragraphs on determinations and safeguarding and the details of religions would be replaced with web links to relevant and more comprehensive information.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That SACRE approved the adjustments to the advice document and requested that schools would be made aware of the updated document.

120.

Hampshire SACRE Determinations Process pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To consider a report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services seeking SACRE’s approval of the findings of the meeting regarding a proposed determination application process for Hampshire SACRE.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

SACRE considered a report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services of the findings of the sub-group that had met on 22 January 2020 to draft a determination application process for Hampshire SACRE (item 9 in the Minute Book). An updated appendix of the draft determination process and application form was circulated for discussion.

 

Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Adviser, briefly recapped about determinations and reminded Members that, to date, one had never been requested from Hampshire SACRE, although other local authorities have them. Following SACRE’s decision at its meeting in November 2019 to formulate a determination process, a small group of SACRE members had met to draft a process.  Patricia Hannam had consulted NASACRE and other SACREs about their processes and the proposed draft had been referred to Hampshire Legal Services twice for checking.  She expressed her gratitude to the Legal Services team for responding so rapidly to her queries.

 

Members were made aware that Collective Worship and the requirement for it to be ‘broadly Christian’ in content is a contentious issue.  It was made clear that a determination would not excuse a school from collective worship, just from it being ‘broadly Christian’.

 

In explanation of the application form it was noted that changes had been made to the original published one, on the advice of Legal Services, to remove anything that was not legally required, such as requiring schools to consult with parents or school advisers or to provide information on the new form of collective worship.  The list of faiths had been removed as there was no national or Hampshire definitive list; however, it was felt that it would be legitimate and reasonable to expect a school seeking a determination to provide information about the religious diversity of its pupils.

 

There was a wide-ranging discussion with comments and questions raised about the documents.  A question was raised about who would be responsible for checking the 5 year limit on a determination - the school or SACRE. Some Members queried in what circumstances that this could be reduced. After discussion it was agreed to amend the process document to include’ The SACRE clerk will remind the school about their determination on or about 1 October each year’; this should ensure that schools would continue to be aware of it.

 

There were also discussions about what would happen if an application was refused and how soon a school could reapply. Members also raised questions about the criteria on which an application would be judged, as this had not been mentioned.

 

SACRE divided into its constituent groups to discuss the recommendation to approve the draft determination procedure further.  The result of the voting was that the groups agreed in principle to the documents, but not in their current form.  The groups felt there was a need for further legal advice to set some form of criteria on which SACRE would base their judgement of a determination.

 

The recommendation as it stood failed and the groups agreed to amend it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 120.

121.

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 November 2019 and plans for the July 2020 conference.

Minutes:

The Council received a verbal report from Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Adviser on the activities of the Youth Voice since the last SACRE meeting on 5 November 2019 (Item 10 in the Minute Book).

 

Youth Voice had last met on 26 February 2020 with six schools attending. Their meeting had focussed on two items, the annual conference and the Agreed Syllabus Purpose Statement.

 

The annual conference would be held on 14 July and the students had decided that the conference would deal with religion and the climate crisis, but had yet to agree a title.  SACRE members were asked to consider becoming involved and to provide suggestions of people who might run practical workshops.

 

In discussions of the Agreed Syllabus Purpose Statement the students had noted that they really enjoy RE and felt that it was an important subject; they were also against  the idea that RE might change its name to Worldviews. It was suggested that there should be a modified version of the purpose statement for parents and students. 

 

SACRE Members were encouraged to come to a Youth Voice meeting and the dates would be circulated.

 

The fourth primary youth voice conference would be hosted by Cove School at the end of June and there would also be one at Thornden School.

 

122.

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 since the last SACRE meeting on 5 November 2019.

Minutes:

The Council received a verbal report from Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Adviser on the activities of the Hub (Item 11 in the Minute Book). 

 

There had been good attendance at the last South Central Hub meeting on 27 November 2019, with representation from Southampton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Surrey, East Sussex and Bournemouth and Christchurch.  Discussions had included the monitoring of RE and Collective Worship, and Agreed Syllabuses and how they were being  adapted in light of the RE Commission.

 

The next meeting of the Hub was on 5 March 2020 and would include discussions on determinations and the new Ofsted framework and its effects.

123.

Any Other Business

To receive any other business from Members of SACRE.

 

Minutes:

There was no other business.

 

124.

Date, Time and Venue of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 30 June 2020  in the Taylor-Selwyn Room at the Learning Centre at Winchester Cathedral.

1.30pm for a short pre-meeting talk about the work of the Centre

2.00pm for the main meeting.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as Tuesday 30 June 2020 in the Taylor-Selwyn Room at the Learning Centre at Winchester Cathedral; 1.30pm for a short pre-meeting talk about the work of the centre and 2.00pm for the SACRE meeting.