Agenda and draft minutes

Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) - Monday, 13 July 2020 5.00 pm

Venue: Online only - Microsoft Teams

Contact: Lizzie Rich  01344 352253

Note: Please contact the Clerk on before the meeting if you wish to attend as an observer 

No. Item


Election of Chairman


The election of Chairman was postponed to the next meeting at the start of the academic year, in line with the SACRE Terms of Reference.  


Appointment of Vice Chairman


The election of Vice-Chairman was postponed to the next meeting at the start of the academic year, in line with the SACRE Terms of Reference.  


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 157 KB

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


The minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2020 were approved as a correct record.


Westhill films


SACRE members watched a short clip of one of the Westhill films.


Filming had taken place in 4 out of the 6 proposed venues before lockdown had slowed the project. The films were currently in four long films, but would be separated into individual clips of one syllabus question each.


An RE educational website called TrueTube had agreed to host the videos provided they were satisfied with the quality of the films, and then the films would be available nationwide for use in other areas alongside teaching notes for teachers to access.


It was hoped that the videos from the final two venues could be completed soon, and the Hub had suggested an Orthodox synagogue, Catholic church and Sunni mosque as other venues. It was noted that the COVID restrictions on places of worship would largely decide what could be done in these locations.


It was hoped that the videos would be ready for use in the Autumn term, but the launch would be delayed to the Summer 2021.


Anne agreed to include links to the online resources in the RE newsletter once the videos and resources had gone live.



Forward plan for SACRE


It was noted that the SACRE Forward Plan had been extended to cover the period 2019 to 2023 to account for time lost to COVID-19.


SACRE discussed each plan item individually and gave the following updates.


1.      Understand the local context for schools and communities

·        It was not possible to collect data from schools this year on religious make up of school populations.

·        It was not easily possible to rotate SACRE meetings around Bracknell Forest schools or places or worship, however it was suggested that meeting virtually may enable faith representatives or teachers to join the meetings more easily.

·        SACRE agreed to ask faith groups and school representatives for their reflections on the COVID-19 period.

·        Tracey agreed to share any best practice on remote RE teaching.


Priority 2: Monitor religious education and collective worship

·        It was agreed that this priority was still relevant, but that timescales may need to be adjusted.

·        SACRE members agreed that interviews with schools on how they were conducting RE and Collective Worship would be beneficial.

·        It was suggested that interviews with teachers on their experiences could be recorded and played back at a SACRE meeting if useful.

·        The locally agreed syllabus would be reviewed once the curriculum had been re-established in the next academic year.

·        It was proposed that further training on the Locally Agreed Syllabus could be held in Spring 2021.


Priority 3: Promote the development of good religious education across the local authority area

·        SACRE agreed to support the development of virtual lessons and blended learning.

·        It was noted that Ofsted inspections would recommence in January 2021, and guidance on SIAMS inspections would be released in the Autumn term 2020.

·        It was agreed that during the transition back to the usual curriculum, RE teaching would be critical in promoting diversity and community cohesion.


SACRE supported the forward plan, and agreed to turn it into an action plan with timescales included. Madeline Diver agreed to co-ordinate a working group to develop an action plan to be presented at SACRE’s next meeting in the new academic year.


Feedback on schools' work during the summer term


Tracey Bradshaw provided an update on the RE and curriculum provision for schools.


It was noted that remote education needed to remain high quality. The normal school curriculum would be resumed by Summer 2020/21, but there remained fluidity to look at local arrangements. There would be particular focus for Early Years to KS3, to ensure a coverage of the curriculum across the year.


£650m in catch up support had been made available to UK schools for the upcoming academic year, £350m of which would be used for tutoring disadvantaged children.


In response to questions, the following points were noted:

·        Headteacher representatives praised the Local Authority for their support, and schools had felt well supported and prepared during the lockdown period.

·        Some schools had been delivering video assemblies and sharing these with children. Schools were considering how best to have children together and promote collective worship or other whole-school activities.

·        The Oxford Diocese was issuing guidance to church schools on collective worship, and it was suggested that something similar could be developed for community schools. The Diocesan website had lots of resources available to schools to support prayer and reflection.

·        It was suggested that SACRE might be able to provide materials to assist with the blended learning of RE.

·        It was noted that Soulscape were piloting a project with Emmbrook school using online resources to promote wellbeing and emotional / social development.

·        Tracey agreed to include a summary of the syllabus progress in the SACRE newsletter, and to promote available resources.

·       Kathy Hadfield recommended the Ba’hai website Elevate World which included content on Mental Health, wellness, racism, reflections and other support. Kathy agreed to send the details to Anne for circulation.

·        It was noted that the technological resource of each school would determine the output of their teaching materials, and that while some school could function as business as usual, others had encountered technical challenges to their work.


Impact of COVID-19 on faith communities


SACRE discussed the impact of COVID-19 on faith communities, and the following points were noted:

·        Many faith communities had made best use of the technology available to them, and telephone conversations to keep in touch with friends. However it had been difficult to reach out to the nearby communities.

·        Some communities had been glad of the extra time with their families, to communicate faith to their children at home.

·        The use of technology and live streaming had been positive in some communities, as it had allowed members who were disabled or otherwise unable to get to a meeting to participate.  

·        It was expected that there would be some nervousness around meeting together as faith communities once it was possible to do so.

·        It was noted that some faith communities were more active over virtual meetings than they would have been under normal circumstances.

·       SACRE members noted that there were some who had been excluded by the move to live streaming services or meetings, as they were not digitally able.


Any Other Business


SACRE thanked all the school staff in Bracknell Forest who continued to work hard to support the borough’s young people.



Dates of Future Meetings



The future date of SACRE meetings for the next academic year was to be confirmed.