Agenda and draft minutes

Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) - Monday, 4 July 2022 5.00 pm

Venue: Zoom Meeting. View directions

Contact: Lakhi Lally  01344 352253


No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 161 KB

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


The minutes of the last meeting held on 16 March 2022 were noted.



Matters Arising


There were no matters raised.



Informal views from Faith Communities and Schools


Madeline Diver, Group C: Teacher’s Representative spoke on the item. The Relationship, Sex and Health Education Guidelines had come into force in September 2020 which required teachers to be educated on how they could, should and must consider beliefs, to consider the sensitivity of the concepts and to signpost to those who can help.


The Local Authority had set up the RHSE Practical Festival which was to take place on 13 July 2022. It was designed to allow primary teachers to cover the relationship and health aspects.


A request had been sent to various faith leaders asking them to give some support, knowledge and background to the teachers in three workshops at the conference. These workshops aimed to enable teachers to give better support to families with different faiths and beliefs.


Carol Dunk, Group B: Church of England Representative who had formed part of the team that designed the workshops, gave an overview of the workshop. All faiths across the SACRE board had been considered when putting the sessions together, along with the themes: love and respect. Practical elements of the session were to require participants to work as a team/community to achieve a positive outcome. Different coloured apples and grains of sand were to be used to convey the idea that we are all made in God’s image and to promote messages of inclusion and respect. A couple of true stories were to be followed by a Q&A and a summary of SACRE’s offering to schools.



Feedback from RE Network


Tracey Bradshaw, Local Authority Adviser introduced the item. The RE network had been held on 16 June 2022. Assessment was the key area of focus for the session. Rich conversations were held around how to assess different forms of knowledge.


The session was attended by 9 people – a mix of primary and secondary colleagues.


A survey had been created and distributed to colleagues in primary and secondary schools in an effort to ascertain which days of the week were most suitable for people to attend meetings and to understand what attendees hoped to get from sessions.


Some potential reasons for low attendance at sessions were highlighted.


The next three meetings had been set for the next academic year.


Discussion took place regarding the possibility of using the Council Chamber to facilitate hybrid meetings allowing some to attend in person and some from home.



Update on the Hub and Films


Anne Andrews, Oxford Diocese Advisor introduced the item. At the time of speaking, the Orthodox synagogue, the Catholic church and the Sunni mosque’s videos had gone live for all three key stages. The Humanist film was to follow. An Orthodox Christian and Buddhist perspectives were to be sought.


A discussion took place on arrangements for the syllabus review.



Feedback from the NASACRE Conference and AGM


Ron Bailey, Group A: Free Church representative fed back on the conference. The conference was described as ‘fascinating and helpful’. Ron spoke of the Westhill funding for a project that had been carried out in Barking and Dagenham. The project had been aimed at building an understanding between different faith groups in the community. He recommended that new SACRE members attend future conferences.


It was noted that NASACRE were to continue offering their online training sessions in the next year.



NASACRE SEF (Section 1 on the management of SACRE and partnerships) pdf icon PDF 979 KB


Members of SACRE were asked to look through section one and consider where Bracknell SACRE sits in terms of a self-evaluation ahead of the next meeting.



Forward Plan


Madeline Diver, Group C: Teacher’s Representative gave an update on the Forward Plan. The Forward Plan had been deferred until September. The technical aspects of getting feedback, doing things and going into schools were to be looked at. Questionnaire responses on what people need were being sought. These responses were to form part of the Plan.


A desire to have members of faith groups ‘adopt’ a school – perhaps become a governor – was mentioned. The idea was that the person could share in collective worship and lesson planning.


It was noted that the latter part of the Forward Plan would need tweaking.



Draft Handbook from the REC pdf icon PDF 3 MB


Anne Andrews, Oxford Diocese Advisor introduced the item. A big move had been afoot to think about that high quality RE should look like. Over the ten years prior, many reports had looked into the quality of RE – most of which had identified RE as being the poor relation to other subjects. Reports had found that it was underfunded and under resourced in terms of teacher training.


The draft handbook from the REC came at the midpoint of a project that was responding to the national statement of entitlement that had been set out in the report from the Commission on RE.


The draft handbook had set out what RE could look like in the future. It picked up on and incorporated some of the ideas from the Ofsted RE Research Review that had been published just over a year prior. It refined and codified the statement of entitlement.

The handbook set out the thinking part way through the project and provided three disparate groups of people that were working on syllabuses showing how this might be implemented.


The main report was due to be published during the middle of 2024.


It was noted that the report would likely be a useful resource to use during a syllabus review.


During a period of discussion, the following points were noted:


·        It was suspected that the Report was going to be very influential in terms of driving forward RE in the future.

·        The report was focussed on the broad base – religious education including world views.



RE In the news.

1.      The Tablet: Religious Studies Student Numbers Soar

2.      Christian Today: Record number of students taking religious studies

3.      Premier Radio with Fiona Moss Interview: Landmark study reveals School and Government Performance on RE failing students

4.      Conservative Home: It's time the Conservatives filled the God-shaped hole in British schooling

5.      Confederation of School Trusts Blog: 'Why every academy needs to teach religion and worldviews'

6.      National Secular Society: Prioritise RE reform not enforcement NSS tells government

7.      Janet Daby MP for in correspondence with The Headteacher on a piece with a primary school head.



During a period of general discussion, the following points were noted:


·        The number of pupils taking religious studies in secondary school is growing.

·        60% of people within the community think RE is important.

·        The role of SACRE would change if the government were to have gone ahead with the academisation of all schools.

·        Promotion of the views held in the wider community is important.


A discussion took place on the topic of world views and how they complement and feed in to RE teaching. One of the aims of religious education was to encourage pupils to evaluate their own world view. There was a hope that students would leave school with the ability to be knowledgeable, respectful and tolerant of the views of others and be equipped to call out those that fall outside what is considered an acceptable norm.



Dates of Future Meetings


The next meeting would be held on Monday 8 November 2022.