Venue: Committee Room 4, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 6SL
Contact: Kenna-Victoria Martin, Senior Democratic Services Officer Email: Direct.Democracy@thurrock.gov.uk
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Educationmeetings held on:
· 19 April 2017
· 05 September 2017
· 22 November 2017
The Minutes of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education, held on 19 April 2017, 05 September 2017 and 22 November 2017 were approved as a correct record.
The Associate Adviser for Religious Education notified Members that at the previous meeting they had asked the Strategic Lead, School Improvement and Skills to invite the Regional Schools Commissioner to the January meeting. Sadly the Department for Education (DfE) advised her that the Department doesn’t usually get involved with these issues as it did not tell Academies what they should do on their RE curriculum (beyond what is required in the Funding agreement).
The Associate Adviser for Religious Education advised SACRE of her concerns about some of the Thurrock Academies and that some appeared to be in breach of their funding agreements. It was resolved that the Associate Adviser for Religious Education would write to the Regional Schools Commissioner and seek a conversation with her.
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 interests declared.
Declarations of Interest
This item will be discussed in two parts:
a) Analysing information published on school websites
b) School workforce data 2016
The Associate Adviser for Religious Education explained in the past it had been possible for SACRE to carry out its monitoring function using a variety of methods such as:
• School visits and lesson observations
• The collation of comments on RE found in Ofsted inspection reports
• Analysis of data
She continued to explain the task Members were to undertake which involved, examining what schools published about their provision for Religious Education and collective worship.
Members were to look for the following on the schools website:
• Has the school published the content of the Religious Education curriculum for each academic year?
• Is a GCSE course offered in Key Stage 4?
• Secondary Schools - Is there a non-GCSE KS4 Religious Education curriculum shown?
• Was there a Religious Education policy?
• Information about collective worship?
• Does the School have a nominated Religious Education leader?
• Any events linked to Religious Education, such as Inter Faith Week.
Following this SACRE would then write to the schools with their findings.
The Chair of SACRE then sought Members feedback once the activity had been completed. During which the following was highlighted:
• The differences between two Academies, who were under the same trust. In that one didn’t appear to have any mention of Religious Education on their website and the other had outlined in detail their provision of Religious Education.
• It was interesting to see that, again Academies under the same trust were using different Agreed Syllabus one Thurrock the other Herringate.
• The different approach two local primary schools took to teaching Religious Education when only a short distance away from each other.
It was enquired by the Chair how could SACRE do more to find out what Schools and Academies were doing to meet their duty to publish their provision of Religious Education. Members suggested that SACRE write to schools and academies to explain the task they had undertaken and to seek additional information.
RESOLVED that SACRE:
1. Discussed the revised proforma at Appendices 1 and 2 of the report;
2. Authorised a pilot monitoring programme that might be reviewed in the summer term meeting.
SACRE Work Programme 2018/2019
This item is to suggest topics for discussion in the New Municipal Year.
The Chair enquired if there could be conversations with the Local Authority in relation to the dates when SACRE met.
Members of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education were asked for discussion topics they would like to discuss at meetings during the New Municipal Year.
During discussions the Youth Conference was raised, it was explained holding the conference relied on funding. The Associate Adviser for Religious Education advised Members SACRE could seek funding to hold a conference, which would assist in promoting the concept of Religious Education.
That the following topics be developed into a Work Programme for 2018/2019:
• Validating GCSE Results 2017/2018
• Discussions with the Youth Cabinet
• Collective Worship within Schools
• Agreed Syllabus – The Future of SACRE
Any Other Business
There was no other business discussed.