Agenda and minutes

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - Wednesday, 2nd December, 2015 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 4, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL. View directions

Contact: Kenna-Victoria Martin, Senior Democratic Services Officer  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Educationmeeting held on 14 October 2015.


The Minutes from the previous meeting held on 14 October 2015 were approved as a correct record.


Items of Urgent Business

To receive additional items that the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency, in accordance with Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


There were no items of urgent business. 


Declarations of Interest


There were no interests declared.


Thurrock SACRE - Reviewing the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Thurrock pdf icon PDF 101 KB


The Chair of Council welcomed Fiona Moss from RE Today to the meeting; he continued by informing those present that he had herd on the Sunday Programme a discussion on the need to change the name of ‘Religious Education’.


Associate Adviser for Religious Education advised Members that the item followed from the spring meeting; where they discussed the agreed syllabus and the options of updating it. Members were informed that they had potentially three options, to amend the current Thurrock agreed syllabus, to adopt another authority or to readopt the syllabus. 


Ms Moss addressed the Council explaining that the last local agreed syllabus was in 2011 in Bedfordshire. She continued to inform members that there was now the model syllabus which was written by the advisers at RE today and included units of work for teachers to help them with teaching Religious Education.


Members were informed that they would be taken through two new syllabuses the modal syllabus and the Havering and Redbridge syllabus which were written by D. Weston.


The Council were advised that the model syllabus had been written to allow local authorities to adopt it and tweak it to suit what they would like to be taught within each local school. Members were further advised that the syllabus provided units of work, which assisted teachers when writing their teaching plans.


It commented that both syllabuses contained ‘the purpose of RE’ and Members discussed the importance of including aims within a syllabus, it was confirmed that within the Thurrock Syllabus aims were included and Members stated they wish for them to stay.


The topic of non-religious views was raised during which it was commented that schools teach World Views at GCSE level rather than religious views. The Chair of the Council enquired if Ms Moss came across people within her work with RE Today who were not religious, however believed in God. Ms Moss confirmed that she did, but she would say they were spiritualists.


During the discussion Members sought as to how many people actually understood what the word religion meant. It was stated that 25% of the population understood what religion was and 17% of people were non- religious however believed in God.


Ms Moss informed Members that both the model syllabus and the Havering and Redbridge syllabus had a 12 step guide for teachers teaching RE on how to use and implement the syllabus of their choice; both also included legislation and rulings for guidance.


The Strategic Lead, School Improvement and Skills stated that Thurrock had 52 schools which were a mixture of Local Authority schools and Academies. He continued that of the schools in borough 15 were maintained schools and of the 15, 3 were Catholic and 5 were Church of England; it was asked for clarification as to who had to follow the Local Authorises syllabus and who would have to write their own.


The Associate Adviser for Religious Education advised that the Local Authority had a statutory duty to provide a RE  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.


Any Other Business


There was no other business discussed; however the Chair of SACRE asked for clarification of the next meeting date. The Clerk confirmed the next meeting would be held on Wednesday 17 February 2016.