Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education

3 December 2020

5.00  - 6.00 pm


Bracknell Forest Council Logo


Councillor Dr Gareth Barnard, Group D: Bracknell Forest Education Authority (Chairman)

Madeline Diver, Group C: Teachers and teachers' representatives (Vice-Chairman)

Ron Bailey, Group A: Free Church representative

Vicki Gibson, Group A: Free Churches

Abi Maclean, Group A: Free Church representative

Robyn Lynch, Group A: Catholic Church

Jo Perrett, Group A: Catholic representative

Rajdip Marok-Dhanju, Group A: Sikh representative

Ossie Anderson-Peled, Group A: Jewish representative

Rev Malcolm Chalmers, Group B: Church of England representative

Rev Carol Dunk, Group B: Church of England representative

Jill Hanson, Group B: Church of England

Clare Hawkins, Group C: Teacher representative

Ruth Jackson, Group C: Teachers representative

Councillor Alvin Finch, Group D: Bracknell Forest Education Authority

Kathy Hadfield, Co-opted Member

Apologies for absence were received from:

Dilip Ladwa, Group A: Hindu representative

Elaine White, Group C: Teacher representative

Deborah Windsor, Group C: Teacher representative

Councillor Ankur Shiv Bhandari, Group D: Bracknell Forest Education Authority

Councillor Mrs Lizzy Gibson, Group D: Bracknell Forest Education Authority

Councillor Mrs Isabel Mattick, Group D: Bracknell Forest Education Authority


13.          Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2020 were approved as a correct record.



14.          Membership update

Having met in private to discuss the matter, it was RESOLVED


That Alan Montgomery, Humanist representative, be appointed as a co-opted

SACRE member for the period of one year, to November 2021.



15.          Annual Report

Anne Andrews presented the Annual Report for the year 2019/20.


It was noted that due to the summer exams being cancelled in light of COVID-19, the results for the academic year 2019/20 were not being published. The Annual Report would therefore be published within exam results.


SACRE agreed the Annual Report which would be submitted to NASACRE.


Arising from questions, the following points were noted:

·         The Annual Report covered the period 2019/20, and so did not capture the progress made in 2020.

·         The RE Ambassadors project was a secondary school project led by Ranelagh, whereby students were trained to deliver RE lessons in primary schools. It was understood that the project was running again this year for Ranelagh students albeit virtually.

·         SACRE agreed to review the RE Ambassador scheme at their meeting in December 2021.

·         SACRE noted concerns around the availability of the agreed syllabus on Google, however it was noted that the Bracknell Forest specific syllabus was available on the Schools Management website.


SACRE thanked Anne for putting the report together.



16.          Budget update

A budget update was not available as the Local Authority advisor was not present.



17.          NASACRE & Freedom of Information request

NASACRE had written out to all SACRES to submit Freedom of Information requests around funding and support offered to SACRE by the Local Authority.


It was noted that the response was being prepared by Bracknell Forest, however SACRE members raised concerns around the use of Freedom of Information requests. It was felt that a legal route to sourcing SACRE information did not support a strong working relationship between NASACRE and local SACREs.


Cllr Barnard agreed to write to the Chair and Administrator of NASACRE to raise these concerns, and to suggest that a collaborative approach would have been more positive.


Anne Andrews advised SACRE that she had attended the NASACRE Extraordinary AGM on behalf of Milton Keynes.


The new Chair of NASACRE was keen to give the organisation a clearer focus and higher profile in advocating on behalf of SACREs and was therefore keen to have more interaction with SACREs. It was noted that the new Chair was also the lead of the RE Quality Mark.



18.          Westhill project update

Anne Andrews updated on the Westhill project and videos.


The National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) had offered to host the videos with the teaching notes alongside. Permission was being sought from the people appearing in the videos to confirm that they were happy for the films to be published.


True Tube had been approached, but they had wanted to edit the films.


Anne commented that she would be using the Westhill videos with the RE Network meeting in Spring. It was suggested that teachers who used the films could come to a SACRE meeting to update on how they were used, and how the lesson had gone.



19.          Forward Plan update

SACRE recognised that the Forward Plan had come at a challenging time, particularly for school colleagues. However, the subgroup had continued its work towards the Forward Plan to get dates in place, and to establish a process for focus groups when they were able to meet.


The tasks on the plan had delegated to SACRE members, schools, Local Authority and community leaders.


SACRE members were asked to review the current iteration of the plan, and to volunteer for specific actions. The forward plan would be brought back to SACRE for adoption in March 2021.


SACRE thanked Madeline for her continued hard work on the Forward Plan.



20.          Any Other Business

SACRE agreed to consider the impact of COVID on faith communities and on the teaching of RE at their March meeting.


It was noted that Collective Worship was still a requirement on schools, although the extent to which it was happening was unknown. It was recognised that lots of schools were holding collective worship in creative ways, and that there was lots of good work going on particularly in faith schools.


Anne asked SACRE members to consider whether they could contribute an item to a future newsletter, and to get in contact if they could do so. Examples of past newsletters would be circulated to SACRE members.


It was clarified that the RE Ambassadors scheme covered a wide range of faiths and not just Christianity.
























For further information contact: Lizzie Rich