Agenda and minutes

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - Tuesday, 20 March 2018 5.00 pm

Venue: Easthampstead House, Town Square, Bracknell, RG12 1AQ

Contact: Emma Young  01344 352269

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies for Absence


The Chairman welcomed members to the meeting.


At the commencement of the meeting, it was noted that a quorum was not present.  Rather than deferring all items until the next meeting, those present agreed to discuss the items informally in order to give the officers a steer on how to progress the matters.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 8 November 2017.


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 November 2018 were approved as a correct record.


Matters Arising


There were no matters arising from the minutes


Membership Update


SACRE discussed the current challenges with Membership and attendance and sought solutions. It was emphasised that SACRE had a clear role and in encouraging better attendance it was hoped to reflect the multi-faith nature of SACRE.



Following questions and discussion the following points were raised:

·         An advert would be put in ‘The Door’ to advertise for Church of England representatives (Action: Emma Young)

·         It was proposed that the constitution is changed to allow Substitute Members which would mean the time commitments per person would be reduced.

·         Constitutionally, substitutes would be able to attend meetings as votes were allocated as one per group regardless of how many attend.

·         It was noted that many SACRE’s had problems attracting members

·         In future, meetings would aim to be completed in 60 minutes and no longer than 90 minutes

·         Clerk to send email regarding meeting times to see if there would be a more convenient time or day. The email would also ask if there were any barriers to attendance.

·         It was intended that there may be sections in future where item’s were ‘to note’ only and therefore not need to take up meeting time.

·         It was proposed that presentations would be given from Ranelagh School about their RE representatives.

·         Madeline agreed to write out to her contacts to ask for representatives

·         It was noted that changes to the constitution should go through April 2018 Council meeting.

·         It was noted that virtual decision making could also be implemented.



Annual report Including A-level report pdf icon PDF 936 KB


The annual report had been circulated to SACRE members with a request for comments and where committee members were unable to attend, comments had been provided by email.


Currently the phrasing around Councillors needing to leave meetings early was considered too harsh and could be framed in a more positive light as the input and attendance from Councillors was very good. SACRE was reviewing start times to reflect evening commitments.


It was noted that the report would be uploaded to NASACRE website once final change has been made.


The Religious Education (RE) A-level results were in line with the national average and had fallen since the year before. It was acknowledged that the results were hard to benchmark as the curriculum had changed so much  since previous years.


The non compliance was considered more of a concern but thanks were given to schools who have maintained the amount.


It was acknowledged that SACRE needed to understand the real reasons why non-compliance had happened. It was a complex picture, and it was questioned how SACRE could reach out to schools about how the value sets reach across faiths. It was acknowledged that schools were under a lot of pressure from other curriculum areas


It was noted that some schools studied RE under a different name (Faith and Belief, philosophy and ethics, or part of PSCHE.) and therefore the data may not accurately portray how much was being undertaken. The report did however give an excuse to contact individual schools to investigate further which could then be cascaded to primary schools.


It was acknowledged that topic would need to be revisited when the full report was published which was due in September 2018. It was felt that it was important to focus on the positive action which was happening within schools even if they weren’t totally compliant and that a sensitive approach was important.


It was questioned what the final figure was for students who had taken A level RE and this was confirmed as 46 which was a small increase on year before.




-       Increase in subscriptions


It had agreed that Anne Andrews would continue to be employed for 5 years

(Action: formal confirmation from Steve Boggs required)


It was requested that an update be given at the next meeting on whether there are any additional funds available.


It was noted that SACRE members should have oversight of how budget is spent resourcing SACRE





Information had been provided from Deborah on non compliance by Schools on Religious education targets. This was an issue which NATRE were aware of however it was noted that data mining would need to be undertaken to understand to what extent schools were fulfilling the statutory entitlement.


It was noted that Religious education was often given a different name in schools now and a better understanding of the issue was required.



Matters arising from NASCARE


These matters were covered elsewhere in the meeting.


Any Other Business


It was agreed that a plan for the next 12 months of SACRE would be beneficial as it would set out what needed to be accomplished in the coming months and set out why SACRE is so important. For the Autumn meeting, RE ambassadors from Ranelagh School would be invited to talk about what they’re doing in Jennets Park.


It was emphasised that SACRE was keen to engage new Members who may not know what the SACRE objectives were or what the required contribution was. It was acknowledge that SACRE member contributions were really valued and had a positive impact on the children and their religious education in the Borough. The guide would contain a one page short guide to SACRE which would be created to help encourage membership and  include examples of where SACRE had  done something significant and important. For example, the Crossing the Bridges project had a lot of impact.



Dates of Future Meetings

19 June 2018

14 November 2018


Due to the meeting not being quorate, a new meeting date would be arranged with potential dates as 16 May or 23 May. The date would be confirmed following consultation with SACRE members. It was noted that the meeting would need to be quorate and would focus just on the agreed syllabus.