Agenda and minutes

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - Wednesday, 14 November 2018 5.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell, RG12 1JD. View directions

Contact: Lizzie Rich  01344 352253

No. Item


Election of Chair and Vice-Chair


As the meeting was not quorate, Cllr Dr Barnard was elected Chair for the meeting and Madeline Diver was nominated as Vice-Chair for the meeting.  


RE Ambassador - Presentations from Ranelagh


Two students from Ranelagh presented on the RE Ambassadors scheme which they had taken part in. The scheme, run and funded by the Oxford Diocese provided training for students to teach primary school children about their own and other religious views.


Students in Years 10 and 12 had been invited to participate in the scheme, and ambassadors had visited Jennets Park and Wildridings Primary Schools to teach RE sessions. The students commented that it had been interesting to visit different schools, and they felt that they had gained experience in quick thinking in front of a class, and in having their views challenged. Ambassadors had also learnt to present to an audience, and how to keep presentations interesting and engaging. Some sessions had incorporated drama elements, cartoons and personal testimonies of worship and prayer.


Both students fed back that they had enjoyed being a part of the scheme.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

·        Student ambassadors had benefited from learning how to engage with young children, and had gained work experience as teachers of RE.

·        The content of student ambassador sessions had been based around subjects not ordinarily taught under the RE curriculum, to ensure interest.

·        The scheme had run for the first time at Ranelagh in the academic year 2017/18, and had included 12 ambassadors from Year 10 and Year 12 who presented in pairs. A new group of 10 ambassadors had been appointed for the 2018/19 year. Students who had been ambassadors the previous year had been involved in encouraging and training the new cohort.

·        It was noted that some of the students taking RE at A Level hoped to become theologians in amongst other thing.

·        RE A Level at Ranleagh had attracted more demand since being renamed ‘Theology, Philosophy and Ethics’. The new intake for 2018/19 was a class of 8 A Level students.


SACRE thanked the ambassadors for attending and for their thoughtful presentation.



Welcome and Apologies for Absence


The Chairman welcomed representatives to the meeting.


It was proposed that the Terms of Reference might be amended for SACRE to make it likely for meetings to be quorate. Suggestions included appointing standing deputies in each group to attend as substitutes. It was hoped that SACRE’s membership would represent the different faiths in the borough.  


Any amended Terms of Reference would be brought to a future meeting for SACRE sign off.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 226 KB

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

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting on 20 March 2018 (including the minutes of the Agreed Syllabus Conference) were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Arising from the minutes, the following points were noted:

·        The Door publication through the Church of England had stopped, and Anne Andrews had emailed the area minister regarding Church of England representation on SACRE.

·        It was noted that a new Church of England representative had been appointed, however he had not been able to attend the meeting.

·        SACRE reflected on the Agreed Syllabus work and commented that the launch had been well attended and had seen good group collaboration. Due to staff turnover, the Subject Leaders group now included new staff who had not been present, and SACRE commented that it was important for these staff to be aware of the new syllabus.


Membership Update


It was noted that Adrian Laws had been appointed as the new Church of England representative.


Following the resignation of Juanita Dunlop, the Catholic Church had been contacted for another representative.


It was agreed that members who had not attended meetings for some time would be contacted, to find out the reasons for absence and remind them that their views are valued.


All members were asked to promote SACRE membership within their networks, and it was noted that a secondary school was particularly sought.


Annual Report pdf icon PDF 543 KB


Anne Andrews presented the SACRE Annual Report.


SACRE agreed that once the validated results and introductory word were included, the report could be sent to NASACRE.


Anne commented that for future reports, it would be useful to have notification of Ofsted reports as they came into the public domain. (Action: Steve Bogg)



Hub Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 453 KB


Anne Andrews presented the Hub Forward Plan.


SACRE welcomed the good work on communications included in the Hub Forward Plan, which included a new Communications representative to take the lead.


 A provisional working document has been created for the Crossing the Bridges project.


SACRE supported the Hub Forward Plan, and suggested including reference to a sustainable membership.



Guidance Material Samples pdf icon PDF 346 KB

Including 7 point planning process, planning using the syllabus and the two unit plans

Additional documents:


Anne Andrews commented that at the Hub meeting, it had been requested that the guidance material should be complete by Christmas. Unit plans had been revised to help teachers to tailor the plans to their classes and lessons. It had been agreed that a unit of work would be produced at each subject leaders meeting to produce a central bank of work to be used in the borough.


SACRE supported the Guidance Material Samples circulated, and any comments were requested to be sent to Anne.


SACREs to meet at different faith location on each meeting?First part of the meeting to have explanation of the host.


Westhill Bid - suggestions for extending the Crossing the Bridges project


Anne Andrews reported that a funding opportunity had arisen through the Westhill Bid to fund visits for teachers to places of worship. Each visit would result in a unit of work being created to link Crossing the Bridges with the new syllabus.


It was noted that teachers’ availability would depend on the time of year, and that visits needed to be planned in advance. It was likely that visits would be during afternoons, and that the funding (around £4k) would be used to pay for supply cover.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

·        The development of the Crossing the Bridges project depended on the commitment of RE leads.

·        SACRE supported the development of a bid for submission, and agreed that the bid would promote the work of SACRE more widely.

·        It was noted that the bid was due for submission on 31 March, and that SACRE would meet before then. The draft bid would be considered for information at the next meeting. (Action: Anne Andrews)

·        It was commented that the proposed bid required the agreement of all Berkshire SACREs, however members commented that a bid could be submitted for Bracknell Forest alone if the other authorities did not wish to proceed.


Commission on RE and NASACRE response pdf icon PDF 192 KB

The Final Report of the Commission on RE can be found online at the following link:


SACRE received and noted the NASACRE response to the final report of the Commission on RE. It was commented that the Commission’s report had been too heavily outcome focussed


SACRE welcomed Ranelagh’s approach in rebranding RE as Theology, Philosphy and Ethics, and discussed the concept of ‘Religion and Worldviews’ which was the proposed name from the Commission.


SACRE commented that the Commission’s report had little detail about how collective worship would be captured.  Concerns were also raised that the role in ensuring local standards may be lost within the new Local Advisory Networks.


It was agreed that the report would be discussed in further depth at the March 2019 meeting, considered in conjunction with the curriculum review.  Ranelagh were due to be inspected under the new framework in the Spring term, and SACRE awaited the outcome of this inspection.


Anne Andrews offered to collate any feedback and comments on SACREs going forwards.



Any Other Business


Cllr Dr Barnard asked any individual members to raise issues/discussions to be had at SACRE meetings with Lizzie Rich.


It was suggested that future meetings might be held at various locations, such as primary schools or faith buildings.


It was agreed that the Terms of Reference for SACRE would be revisited.



Dates of Future Meetings

7 March 2019

4 July 2019

13 November 2019


7 March 2019

4 July 2019