Agenda item

Final Report on the Commission on RE (CoRE)

To consider a report and presentation from the Director of Children’s Services on the final report and recommendations of the Final Report of the Commission on RE.


The Council considered and discussed  a presentation and report from Patricia Hannam, the County Inspector/Adviser, on the recommendations in the Final Report from The Commission on RE. (Item 11 in the Minute Book).

Members had been provided with the Executive Summary to the Report as Appendix 1.


Members agreed with the opinion that Religious Education needs rejuvenating because of the variable quality of teaching around the country, the legal arrangements around RE no longer working as schools in many areas have become academies, and young people today encountering a growing diversity of religions and world views in their lives.  Some of the recommendations, such as the improvement to primary Initial Teacher Education, additional funding for CPD, and the requirement for inspectors to report on the National Entitlement would not be contentious.  However, others could be controversial.


After an explanation of the 11 recommendations, Members discussed, in small groups, three of the recommendations – the change of name of the subject to Religion and Worldviews, the establishment of a National Entitlement to RE and the replacement of SACREs by local advisory networks.  It was noted that it was rumoured that some of the recommendations were not made with the full agreement of all the commissioners; some of them were also very vague and unclear. 


Members commented on the difficulties that would be posed in trying to get a countrywide consensus to a National Entitlement and what should be included in such a curriculum; and how would regional diversity be satisfied  if the locally agreed syllabus did not exist.  One suggestion was that a local SACRE might be responsible for devising a syllabus based on the National Entitlement.


Concerns were raised about the new Local Advisory Networks that were intended to replace SACREs;  in particular how would they be formed, what accountability would they have and who would be on them. It was pointed out that the Commission specifically chose not to look at Collective Worship, and therefore, SACREs would still need to exist to monitor what was still a legal requirement.  For authorities with a weak SACRE and locally agreed syllabus these Networks might work, but for counties like Hampshire, that have a strong SACRE and a school inspection and improvement service, then it would not be a good move.


Members were reminded that this was not a government commission, but by the RE Council and at some point the recommendations may get to parliament.  It was agreed that the basis of the Report was good, but the details needed to be thought through.  The RE council was open to further consultation and influence and it was agreed that a time-limited group should be set up to consider the recommendations in more detail and draft a response for SACRE’s approval. Members who were interested in being part of the group were requested to email the inspectors.  It was suggested and agreed that the next meeting of the South Central Hub should also formulate a response to the Report.






1.1   That a time-limited group should be convened to draft a response to the CoRE Report to the Religious Education Council.


1.2   That the CoRE Report should also be discussed by the South Central SACRE Hub at its next meeting.


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