Agenda and minutes

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education
Tuesday, 21 June 2016 5.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell

Contact: Lizzie Rich  01344 352253

No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 3 March 2016.


The minutes of the meeting on 3 March 2016 were approved as a correct record.


Matters arising

Minute 99

Three out of a possible four exam boards had now been accredited by Ofqual for the new GCSE RE by Ofqual. These were AQA, OCR, and WJEC, and it was anticipated that Edexcel would also be accredited soon. Of schools in the Borough, Garth Hill, Sandhurst and Ranelagh were all using Edexcel B. It was also reported that Easthampstead Park School had recruited a new Head of Humanities who had introduced RE as a compulsory subject for 1 hour per fortnight.


It would not be compulsory to study Christianity in the new GCSE, and it was noted that it was not possible to study Christianity with Catholic Christianity which were considered two different areas. Chris Salt agreed to send the information about schools and their RE examination boards to Anne Andrews. (Action: Chris Salt)


Anne Andrews agreed to send links to the various syllabuses out to all members. (Action: Anne Andrews)


Hub Update - Including Dates for Next Meetings pdf icon PDF 267 KB

Additional documents:


Madeline Diver updated SACRE on the recent meeting of the Hub.


The Hub had met in Wokingham Council Offices, and five out of six possible Berkshire SACREs had been represented. The Hub and the Crossing the Bridges co-ordinator roles had been discussed, and a financial plan had been drawn up. Income for the Bracknell Forest SACRE had been generated by the surplus from the British  Values Conference, and this would cover the suggested contribution of £1,700 to fund the co-ordinator roles. It was noted that the Crossing the Bridges role was expected to be a year-long project with a temporary post.


The Hub had also agreed to hold a joint conference on 28 September 2016 at the Holiday Inn in Winnersh. Each SACRE had been asked to commit to sending a minimum of four attendees at a cost of £35 per person. Bracknell Forest SACRE funding would be limited for this, but Chris Salt reported that he was due to meet the finance officer for SACRE and would update members on the position. (Action: Chris Salt)


Anne Andrews reported that she had approached the Deanery for SACRE funding, but had not yet had a reply.


The next Hub meeting was scheduled for 15 September 2016 at Wokingham Borough Council. Members expressed their support for continued commitment to the Berkshire Hub.


Report from NASACRE pdf icon PDF 342 KB


Anne Andrews reported on her visit to the NASACRE AGM.


It was reported that there had been two speakers at the event: Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Adam Dinham. Butler-Sloss had expressed her frustration that religion taught in schools had been sanitised and was not a full representation of religious life. Dinham had raised concerns that religion in schools and society had been marginalised to include philosophy and ethics.


Both speakers had raised concerns that in many schools, there were only 45 minutes spent per week and a budget of £1 per child spent on RE. Members reported that in Harmans Water Primary School, there had been similar issues with a lack of time and funding for RE teaching.


Members conducted an activity to gauge responses to the statements made by Butler-Sloss and Dinham, and Anne Andrews reported that the responses in Bracknell Forest were similar to those made in Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Anne would make a joint representation from both SACREs to NASACRE. (Action: Anne Andrews)


Brief Verbal Report on the British Values Conference in Bracknell


Ruth Jackson, NAHT reported on the recent British Values Conference held at Easthampstead Park Conference Centre in Bracknell.


Ruth reported that the Conference had a practical focus to relate British values to everyday life in schools. Attendees had been encouraged to explore with their classes how far British values were the same as human values. As a result of the conference, teachers had left with ideas of whole-school projects to promote British values and for a review of resources available in their schools to promote British values.


The event had been well-attended, although it was recognised that more attendees had come from Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead than from Bracknell Forest. This was due to the RBWM SACRE being able to fund 13 places for attendees, whereas Bracknell Forest attendees had been self-funded.


Development Plan


SACRE noted that the objectives of the Development Plan were met by the Crossing the Bridges project, and so the Development Plan was not discussed at the meeting.


Feedback on this term's training


Anne Andrews reported that she had recently attended a teacher training event. There had been eight attendees, and the session had been used to share helpful activities and to upskill teachers present. The session had been well received and attendees had said that they had found it useful.


A session in the autumn term would be used to cover resources for teaching on prayer in an RE setting, although a date for this session had not yet been found.


Feedback from any recent reports


In recent Ofsted reports, it was reported that the last seven schools had moved from Requires Improvement to Good. A secondary report had been received on the morning of the 21 June, and on first look seemed a good report.


There had been no recent SIAMS reports for Bracknell Forest.


Any Other Business


SACRE resolved to write and thank David Fawcett who had resigned from SACRE  after approximately three years as Chairman, and many more as a member. (Action: Lizzie Rich)


Members were encouraged to consider whether they wished to stand for the Chairman role which would be decided at the next meeting. Any member wishing to stand was asked to prepare a short introduction outlining their skills and experience.


Rabbi Zvi Solomons reminded members that he was available to do talks in schools to cover the Jewish syllabus, and that the website to visit for more information was


Anne Andrews asked for any suggestions of content for the September newsletter to be sent to her, and that the newsletter would be distributed within the first few weeks of term.


Dates of Future Meetings


The next meeting was scheduled for 7 November 2016.