Agenda and draft minutes

Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education - Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021 2.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting via TEAMS

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

Media

Items
No. Item

139.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Alasdair Richardson, Julie Kelly, Jon Hamer, Sue Bowen, Rev Jeff Williams and Danny Habel.

 

140.

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.

 

141.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 209 KB

To confirm the minutes of the previous meeting on 3 November 2020.

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting on 3 November 2020 were agreed as an accurate record.

142.

Deputations

To receive any deputations.

Minutes:

There were no deputations.

143.

Chairman's Announcements

To receive any Chairman’s announcements.

Minutes:

The Chairman informed Members that this would be his last SACRE meeting as he was stepping down as a County Councillor at the elections in May. The Vice-Chairman, Councillor Anna McNair Scott, also indicated that she was stepping down.  Thanks were expressed to both of them on behalf of all Members of SACRE for their excellent service and leadership of SACRE.

 

It was noted that copies of the 2021 Interfaith Calendar were still available at a reduced price from the Hampshire Online Shop.  It had been agreed to publish a Calendar for 2022 and schools had been circulated with the competition details.  Members were encouraged to persuade their local schools to enter.  For further information about the Calendar Members should contact Patricia Hannam or the clerk, Sue Butler.

 

 

 

 

144.

Membership of SACRE

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

Minutes:

SACRE received a verbal report from Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Advisor informing members of changes to membership (item 6 in the Minute Book).

 

Members were made aware that Amanda Cawood, the representative for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, had resigned and that a replacement was being sought.

 

Patricia Hannam had written to the Portsmouth Diocese again to request a Roman Catholic representative.  There is also a vacancy for a Sikh representative.

 

Members were advised that following the County Council elections in May 2021, all members of SACRE would need to be ratified by the County Council at its AGM.  Members and their appointing bodies would receive a letter in the near future asking them to confirm who would be representing them in the new administration.

 

 

145.

Monitoring Group pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To receive a report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services updating SACRE on the activities of the monitoring group.

 

Minutes:

SACRE received a report from Patricia Hannam, County Inspector for History, Philosophy and RE, and Justine Ball, General Inspector and Adviser for Primary RE, on the activities of the Monitoring Group (item 7 in the Minute Book).

 

The Inspector/Advisers advised Members that the 3-year Action Plan and the Withdrawal Survey had been delayed due to uncertainties relating to Covid-19.  SACRE Members were asked to agree to their deferral to a later date.

 

Members’ attention was drawn to the wide range of courses and network meetings, listed in the report, that had been run for both primary and secondary teachers, school leaders and governors since the last SACRE meeting in November. It was noted that these had been very successful with good attendance, probably more than usual because they had been held online and were more readily accessible. Short webinars had been run for primary teachers to improve subject knowledge and for secondary teachers on Holocaust education with Winchester University.

 

It was commented that there had been an unexpected advantage to the difficulties of teaching during the pandemic, in that more teachers have accessed courses, possibly due to them being virtual which has been a more efficient use of their time with not having to travel after school to meetings.  It was suggested that SACRE should investigate whether hybrid meetings could or should be the way forward once everything is back to normal.

 

Primary monitoring had been done virtually with the focus being on advice and support on planning  with the cycle of enquiry and improving the quality of work. 

 

Patricia Hannam expressed her concern at the Hampshire GCSE data for the RS 2020 examinations. Her concerns were about the low numbers of pupils accessing full course Religious Studies and what Key Stage 4 RE provision was being made for those not taking the GCSE.  She did note that some schools provided good quality non-examination courses.  It was requested that SACRE’s concerns about the declining numbers should be made to HIAS.

 

 Members were updated on the progress of the review of the Agreed Syllabus, which would be Living Difference IV.  The review will be thorough and reflective, but not a total rewrite.  It will respond to national issues and remain on the cutting edge of Religious Education in schools.  Early Years, special educational needs, progression and assessment are all being tackled, particularly in the light of national changes.  Meetings with faith experts and a teachers’ focus group have been well attended. SACRE Members would be welcome to attend future focus group meetings. One of the most important decisions to be made will be to what extent the revised Agreed Syllabus will acknowledge the current discussions about Worldviews and RE.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    SACRE agreed that a draft of the 3 Year Action Plan 2021-2024 would be brought to the June SACRE meeting.

 

2.    SACRE approved that the Annual Withdrawal Survey should take place in the summer term 2021.

 

3.    SACRE asked Patricia Hannam, the professional adviser to take up the declining number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 145.

146.

Key National RE Matters pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To receive a report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services enabling SACRE to consider key national RE matters, especially regarding national discussions taking place regarding ‘Worldviews’ and RE.

Minutes:

SACRE considered a report from Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Advisor, on key national RE matters, especially the national discussions taking place about ‘Worldviews and RE’ (item 8 in the minute book).

 

Using a set of Powerpoint slides Patricia Hannam explained the complexities of the issues and discussions around the REC’s support of a move away from the current ‘world religions’ teaching of RE to ‘Religion and Worldviews’.  As Hampshire was in the process of reviewing its Agreed Syllabus it was critical to decide the extent to which these current discussions on Worldviews and RE were integrated into the review.

 

There has been no national agreement on what ‘Worldviews’ actually means, and a project had been undertaken, including a literature review, to develop understanding. ‘Worldviews’ was open to interpretation and three possible scenarios were highlighted:

a)    A move to include more content in addition to RE

and/or

b)    A greater focus on the ‘lived experience of religious life’

and /or

c)    A re-orientation of the subject to start with a young person’s interests.

 

It was stressed that the approach in the Hampshire Agreed Syllabus was flexible enough to take account of the three elements – the cycle of enquiry starts with a young person using their lived experience, the contextualise step has a case study and the ‘inquire’ step can include many facets.  The revised syllabus would be theoretically sound and practically helpful, and it was envisaged that it would include an appendix that had a clear explanation of how it related to Worldviews ‘discussions.

 

Members concurred that the title ‘Worldviews’ was very unclear and imprecise nationally, despite several research projects underway.  Therefore, to have educational merit, the concept of ‘Worldviews’ still needs more clarity. It was noted that the legal requirements for RE had not changed and were unlikely to and Hampshire’s revised Syllabus would comply. Members were encouraged to read the Theos report and to attend the next teacher focus meeting on the Agreed Syllabus.

 

Members were informed that four Members had attended the virtual South West SACRE Conference on 1 March and Justine Ball had run a workshop on ‘Primary RE and a decolonised curriculum’.  It was hoped to make some of the presentations from the workshops available to Members. 

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    SACRE noted the report and agreed to continue the discussion regarding the relationship of Worldviews to Religious Education.

147.

South Central SACRE Hub

To receive a verbal report on behalf of the Director of Children’s Services on the discussions of the South Central SACRE RE Hub at its meeting on 16 November 2020 and plans for future meetings.

Minutes:

The Council received a verbal report from Justine Ball, the County Inspector/Adviser on the activities of the South Central SACRE RE Hub at its meeting on 16 November 2020 and plans for future meetings.(Item 9 in the Minute Book).

 

Representatives from Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, Southampton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, East Sussex, Surrey and the Church of England Diocese had attended the virtual meeting on 16 November. 

 

Updates were received on current issues being tackled and a number of SACREs were in the process of reviewing their Agreed Syllabus. The ways of monitoring of RE and providing support and advice in a virtual world had been discussed.  Other discussions had centred around the REC report and the debate on Worldviews and RE.

 

The next meeting scheduled for mid-March 2021 would be looking at similar topics.

 

RESOLVED:

 

SACRE noted the report

148.

Any Other Business

To receive any other business from Members of SACRE.

Minutes:

Members were notified that the NASACRE AGM would be held on Monday 24 May and would be a virtual one. Anyone wishing to attend was asked to contact the clerk, Sue Butler.

 

The Chairman gave his thanks to SACRE’s officers, Patricia Hannam and Justine Ball, for all their hard work and support.

 

The Chairman of the Monitoring Group, Chris Hughes, expressed his opinion, with which all Members of SACRE concurred, that Hampshire SACRE had been very privileged over many years to have had excellent Chairmen and that both Councillor Perry and Councillor McNair Scott had done sterling service in this capacity and would be greatly missed.

 

 

149.

Date, Time and Venue of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 29 June 2021 at 2.00pm.  The form of this meeting is yet to be decided.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 29 June 2021 at 2.00pm at a venue yet to be decided.