Agenda and minutes

Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) - Wednesday, 10 November 2010 5.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fourth Floor, Easthampstead House, Bracknell. View directions

Contact: Priya Patel  01344 352233

No. Item


Election of Chairman (clerk in the chair)

Members are asked to elect a Chairman for the academic year 2010/11.


On the proposition of Reverend Michael Bentley, seconded by Anne Gibbons it was RESOLVED that;


Gordon Anderson be elected the Chairman of the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education for the academic year 2010-11.


Election of Deputy Chairman

Members are asked to elect a Deputy Chairman for the academic year 2010/11.


It was noted that Paula Ridgeway had expressed that she would like to stand down as Deputy Chairman for the following academic year.


On the proposition of Gordon Anderson and seconded by Reverend Michael Bentley, it was RESOLVED that:


Maureen Beadsley be elected as Deputy Chairman of the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education for the academic year 2010-11.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2010.


The minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2010 were agreed as a correct record.


Matters Arising not already on the agenda


Minute 145: It was noted that Reverend Michael Bentley had attended the Faith and Belief Steering Group and that there would be an Open Evening on Tuesday 16 November.


It was reported that Bracknell Forest Council had commissioned a faith and belief mapping exercise by a group from Coventry University, the details would be sent to the clerk who would then distribute it to members.


Minute 147: It was noted that there had been no further communication from the British Humanist Association.


SACRE membership


The Chairman reported that whilst there had been some problems in the past with the support from Democratic Services, particularly around membership, it was hoped that with changes in staffing, that these issues would be overcome.


Resources Centre and Artefacts Report/Update


It was reported that the artefacts had been very well used this term, in particular a large booking had been made for the Islamic artefacts. Martin Surrell agreed to send the clerk the statistics on usage, who would then forward them to members. He also reported that a batch of catalogues were still available and so would be sent out to all Bracknell Forest primary schools.


The Monitoring of RE and CW in Bracknell Forest Schools - Update on the Way Forward


Martin Surrell reported that he had requested exam results for individual schools, as requested by SACRE members, however head teachers expressed the view that giving this information would not provide a full picture of standards in R.E.


Members felt that as SACRE had a responsibility to monitor standards in R.E, this information would in fact be useful, even if it only represented part of the picture.


Martin Surrell reported that he was currently exploring approaches to monitoring various aspects of R.E study. He had some discussions with the Network Co-ordinator who had been initially reluctant to get involved as she felt it didn’t fall into her role. It was hoped that a further meeting with the Network Leader in the next few days could progress the matter.


Bracknell Forest Schools' RE Examination Results - Review pdf icon PDF 19 KB


It was reported that all students that had taken the GCSE full course R.E examination had passed and 72% had achieved a grade C or above. There had been improvements in performance at all levels in comparison to the year before. There had been a decrease in the number who had taken the short course and a number of schools were reviewing the short courses offered. Martin Surrell agreed to provide details of the number of students in the Year 11 cohort.


Bracknell Forest SACRE's Annual Report 2009/10 pdf icon PDF 332 KB


The Bracknell Forest SACRE Annual Report 2009/10 was tabled at the meeting. The Chairman asked that members read the report outside the meeting and forward any comments that they may have to him.


It was agreed that the report be amended and finalised by the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Jo Fageant and then circulated to all members of SACRE as well as being sent to Bracknell Forest schools and the Secretary of State. It was noted that QCA were soon to be abolished.


Locally Agreed Syllabus Review Plan and Funding


The Chairman stated that he hoped that Bracknell Forest Council would be funding the review and felt confident that this would be the case as it remained to be a statutory obligation.


It was noted that an agreed syllabus conference would need to be established by June 2011, in order to take this review forward. It was agreed that a conference be convened prior to the March 2011 SACRE meeting to see who would like to participate in the review and to set up working groups.


The SACRE Associate Advisor reported that five local authorities were committed to undertaking the review jointly, she needed to confirm that Reading Borough Council still wanted to be involved in a joint review as they had recently made their R.E specialist advisor redundant. She stated that she would work with West Berkshire to put together a number of costed models that could be brought to the March 2011 SACRE meeting and members could consider which model they would like to opt for. She stated that although the review would be a joint one, working groups could work on individual parts of the syllabus.


It was agreed that the SACRE Associate Advisor would draft a co-ordinated questionnaire for teachers’ to complete across the five local authorities to get a flavour of what they thought of the current syllabus. This information could then be used to inform the review process. SACRE members felt it was important that teachers knew that the syllabus was reviewed every five years and that feedback from them on what worked well and what needed to be changed was crucial.


The Chairman asked that the results of the questionnaire be brought before SACRE for their March 2011 meeting.


National Interfaith Week: 21-27 November 2010


It was reported that there would be a Conference held at Newbold College on 23 November to mark National Interfaith Week. Invitations had already been circulated, there would be a series of five minute speeches from various faith and belief groups. There would also be displays around the room.


It was noted that Reverend Michael Bentley would be speaking for a five minute slot on Christianity, there would also be speeches from other denominational Christian groups. CAFOD (Catholic Fund for Overseas Development) had a five minute slot. There would also be displays from the Crowthorne Hope Zone led by the Methodist Church. Newbold College and the Kerith Centre also had five minute slots.


In addition, there would be an Islamic speaker, Madeline Diver asked if any of the faith representatives on SACRE would like to volunteer themselves to speak about their faith. Joel Roszykiewicz volunteered to take a slot to speak on Buddhism.


Celebrating RE Month - March 2011


The SACRE Associate Advisor reported that a website had been launched: and was growing rapidly with ideas of activity that could take place across the Country. There were already lots of competitions being set up, it was suggested that the SACRE could develop some ideas at the Joint SACRE Conference.


The Chairman stated that one possible idea that the SACRE had already considered was an R.E trail that could move around various points of religious interest around a local area, perhaps one of the villages or towns of Bracknell Forest.


It was suggested that local school children could be tasked with suggesting where the trail should be and what should be included in the trail, as a research topic. It was agreed that Councillor Mrs Maureen Beadsley, Paula Ridgeway and Councillor Alvin Finch would set up a working group to progress these ideas.


Berkshire Joint SACRE's Conference


The SACRE Associate Advisor reported that each SACRE participating in the Joint SACRE Conference would subsequently need to approve whatever model was developed. It was suggested that it may be helpful to spend some time at the Conference looking at the syllabus itself and making sure that members were familiar with it.


The questionnaires distributed to schools should give a flavour of teachers’ views of the syllabus. It was suggested that an informal approach to the Conference may be an effective way of generating ideas, perhaps using workshops to share ideas and look at what was already in place and what members would like to see in a future syllabus.


The Chairman suggested that the SACRE budget could be used to fund SACRE members attendance at the Conference. The SACRE Associate Advisor suggested that one or two teachers could also be invited to display their work and that this year there would be no guest speaker which would reduce costs.


Dates of Future Meetings

Thursday 10 March 2011

Thursday 7 July 2011

Thursday 10 November 2011


Thursday 10 March 2011, Council Chamber, Easthampstead House

Thursday 7 July 2011, Easthampstead Conference Centre

Thursday 10 November 2011, Council Chamber, Easthampstead House


Anne Gibbons closed the meeting with a prayer.