Agenda and draft minutes

Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) - Wednesday, 17 March 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Online Only

Contact: Lizzie Rich  01344 352253


No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 48 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on


The minutes of the meeting held on 3 December 2020 were agreed as a correct record.


Matters Arising


The minutes were amended to reflect the fact that Alan Montgomery had been in attendance.

There were no other matters arising.


Feedback from RE Network meeting


Feedback received from attendees of the Network meeting had been very positive, and the next meeting date had been set for 22 June to continue the curriculum planning conversation.


It was noted that it would be useful to remind teachers of the content of the locally agreed syllabus, to that they would be able to consider any gaps when the next review was due.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

·        Holding the Network meeting virtually had led to a higher level of attendance.

·        The Council was currently discouraging all but essential school visits. There would be a clearer idea on school visits further down the Government’s roadmap, although it was expected that visits would resume more regularly from the autumn term.

·        22 attendees from 20 schools had attended the Network meeting, and this was welcomed by SACRE colleagues.

·        It was not clear whether teachers were using the agreed syllabus, and Anne agreed to ask the School Standards and Effectiveness team about how the syllabus was being used across the borough.

·        Private and voluntary aided schools were able to use the syllabus as it was publicly available, but they were not required to use it.


Update from teachers representatives

·        What is happening with RE and Collective Worship in your school?

·        How has the return to school gone?


Ruth Jackson, Crowthorne CoE Primary School reported that the school had continued with collective worship over Zoom throughout lockdown by using recorded videos and live assemblies. The school had continued to deliver its curriculum as normal, and so RE had continued to be taught regularly.


Ruth reported anecdotally that other non-church schools were also teaching RE regularly, however assemblies had not continued as normal and so collective worship had been lost.


For Crowthorne, the return to school had been positive and the response from parents had been encouraging.


Elaine White, Harmans Water Primary School reported that Harmans Water had also delivered lots of pre-recorded lessons with some live lessons each week. Assemblies had continued online, with a catch-up Zoom meeting for each class.


Harmans Water had also been inspected by Ofsted during lockdown and had received a successful outcome.  


Hub Update pdf icon PDF 440 KB


Since the latest Pan-Berkshire SACRE Hub meeting, the Real People, Real Faith films had been transferred to NATRE who had agreed to host them on their website. The online launch of the video resources would be held over Zoom, and all Berkshire SACRE Hubs had been asked to distribute the flier to their RE teachers.


Anne was meeting with the other SACRE advisers for Berkshire to plan the launch meeting, and the presentation on the videos for the NASACRE AGM.


SACRE members would be notified when the videos were available to watch on the NATRE website.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

·        SACRE members agreed that the videos were a good resource, and that it would be important to evaluate their impact.

·        When COVID restrictions allowed, it would be useful to gather teachers together to put together supporting resources and lesson plans for the videos.

·        There was the potential of additional funding from Reading Faith Forum, which would fund three additional films to increase the diversity of faiths represented.

·        The videos would be freely and publicly available on the NATRE website and would not require a password. All schools could use the videos, including private and voluntary aided schools.

·        School websites could link to the videos on the NATRE website if they wanted to promote them.

·        Cllr Dr Barnard agreed to prepare a briefing note to elected members to inform them of the resources available, which would useful both in and out of the classroom.  (Action: Cllr Dr Barnard)


Forward plan pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To adopt the latest version of the SACRE Forward Plan, and discuss the latest implementation scheme.

Additional documents:


Madeline Diver thanked all SACRE members who had contributed to the forward plan work so far. The subgroup would continue to meet as the forward plan progressed.


SACRE members were reminded that all engagement with schools was on hold during the COVID restrictions.


Alan Montgomery requested that the Forward Plan include an introduction to explain that the forward plan supported the teaching of all faiths, philosophies, and belief systems, including those which were non-religious. SACRE discussed the matter and were happy with this suggestion.


SACRE adopted the forward plan as an iterative document subject to the introductory statement being added. It was agreed that the implementation schedule would be circulated to SACRE members, and anyone interested in leading on an area should get in touch before individual members were invited to lead.


Arising from discussion, the following points were noted:

·        Councillor Dr Barnard volunteered to be the primary contact for Priority 1 to work with Council colleagues.

·        Abi McLean volunteered to take a lead on Priority 2/3.


Any Other Business


Agreed Syllabus Conference

Anne Andrews advised SACRE members that they would need to start thinking about the next Syllabus review in time for implementation in 2023. Having discussed the matter, SACRE agreed to propose a years’ extension to the syllabus to take account of the COVID disruption.


Future meetings

SACRE members were asked to let Lizzie Rich know how they felt about future meeting styles going forward, and whether in person or virtual was most convenient.


Hindu teaching in schools

Dilip Ladwa agreed to share a resource on Hindu teaching in schools with SACRE members.



Dates of Future Meetings



5 July 21, 5pm

9 November 21, 5pm

16 March 22, 5pm