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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, ROTHERHAM. S60 2TH

Contact: Richard Bellamy (Ext 22058) 

No. Item


SACRE Training Session.


Ian Jones, Vice-Chair of the Rotherham SACRE and Vanessa Gregory, Curriculum Consultant to the Rotherham SACRE, led a training session that informed members of the group about the role and constitution of Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education. 


The group’s newly published Constitution and Code of Conduct were distributed to members of the SACRE.


The training covered: -


  • Education Act, 1996;
  • The membership and representation of the group:


  • Group A: - other Christian denominations and other faiths;
  • Group B: -  The Church of England;
  • Group C: - Teachers’ Professional Associations;
  • Group D: -  The Local Authority, and;


  • Curriculum Consultant; 
  • Clerk to the SACRE.


  •  Role of the SACRE: -
    • Advise the Local Authority;
    • Organisation of activities;
    • Monitoring standards in Religious Education;
    • To be representative of the community;
    • To consider and grant determinations;
    • To co-opt other members where appropriate to include the views of young people, non-religious and multi-religious groups.


  • Electing the Chair and Vice-Chair;
  • Meet three times a year to transact business;
  • Creation of working parties ;
  • To maintain a development plan showing priorities for the next three years. 


Discussion ensued and the following points were raised by those in attendance: -


  • Changing landscape in education: - role of SACREs in the new organisational structure.


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 8th February, 2012, and matters arising. pdf icon PDF 46 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 8th February, 2012, were considered.  


Under matters arising, it was noted that Charlie Wells had requested to become a member of the Rotherham SACRE as a representative of the Methodist Church.  


Resolved: -  That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Rotherham SACRE be accepted as an accurate record for signature by the Chairman.  


Community cohesion update.


  • Zaidah Ahmed, Schools’ Community Cohesion Officer, Resources Directorate, to report.


The Vice-Chair welcomed Zaidah Ahmed, Community Engagement and Cohesion Officer, to the meeting.  Zaidah had prepared an update for the Rotherham SACRE on her community engagement work with the Borough’s schools.


Internal Structure: -


  • Following a Council re-structure, Zaidah’s post was now located in the Commissioning, Policy and Performance section of the Resources Directorate. 


Recent changes that have informed community engagement in schools: -


  • New Ofsted framework: - spiritual, moral, social and cultural emphasis;


  • Spiritual development: - knowledge of religious and non-religious beliefs;
  • Moral: - differences between right and wrong and investigation of moral and ethical issues;
  • Social: - knowledge of different religions, ethical and social backgrounds; co-operation, resolution of differences;
  • Cultural: - understanding and appreciation of a wide-range of heritages and local and global communities.


Schools Linking Project: -


  • Joint project between the Sheffield Diocese and the Local Authority;
  • 27 schools were involved during 2011/12 school year;
  • Possibility to grow to 40 schools during 2012/13;
  • Consisted of class visits in a neutral venue to celebrate differences and diversity. 
  • A year-end celebration event had been planned.


Hate crimes and racist incidents: -


  • Updated information on the regulations had been circulated to all schools;
  • Extra cohesion activities had been delivered where there had been incidents in schools and communities.


Public Sector Equality Duty Act: - 


  • All schools would be required to publish their equality policy and data;
  • Training had been offered to schools around production of Equality Action Plans.


Visits, linking and other work: -


  • Visits had been arranged for schools to Mosques, Temples and Churches;
  • Mosaic Mentoring;
  • Global and Local Links for schools – support to initiate and grow;
  • Rotherham International Global Award;
  • Response to requirements of Roma and EU migration.


The Chair thanked Zaidah for her presentation and for the good work done by the Community Engagement Team. 


Zaidah asked that members of the Rotherham SACRE signpost any colleagues/schools who had queries in relation to integration issues to her.


Resolved: - That the information provided in relation to the work of the Community Engagement Team be noted. 


Wingfield Business and Enterprise College.


  • Michael Jones, to report.  


Michael Jones, Teacher, Wingfield Business and Enterprise College was welcomed to the meeting to update the Rotherham SACRE on the teaching of Religious Education (RE) at the school. 


  • Since 2006, RE, Personal and Social Education (PSE) and Citizenship had constituted an academic department at the school. 
  • Years 8 and 9 were taught each of the subjects for one term each;
  • The department consisted of three RE specialist teachers;
  • Teaching of the curriculum was centred around the skills: compare, explain and interpret;
  • ‘Guest speakers’ attended some lessons and were well appreciated.  Students were curious about the speakers’ experiences and engaged well with them;
  • Role play was used, for example, setting up a courtroom to present a case and to make a decision – developing debating, evidence presentation and analysis skills.


  • GCSE students followed the EdExcel short course.  This consisted of: -


o       Two lessons per week – one x PSE, one x RE;

o       Length: two years;

o       Equivalent to a half GCSE qualification. 


·         An internal inspection in 2012 found the teaching of RE at Key Stage 4 to be outstanding overall;


o       Three lessons observed – two were judged to be outstanding and one was judged to be good.

o       Action points included bringing literacy into lessons and the use of progress graphs to give a visual representation of a pupil’s progress.


·         In 2012/13 it was anticipated that there would be a merging of departments at the School to incorporate Modern Foreign Languages, Drama and the Music and Cultural Faculties with the RE, PSE and Citizenship department. 


o       This would enable greater links with other subjects, and;

o       More experiences for pupils. 


Discussion ensued on the presentation that was shared on Wingfield Business and Enterprise College’s teaching of RE. 


o       Many members of the SACRE endorsed the use of guest speakers to really make issues come alive for young people in the classroom. 


Resolved: -  (1)  That Michael Jones be thanked for his informative contribution to the Rotherham SACRE meeting and discussion.


(2)  That the information shared be noted. 


Draft Annual Report. pdf icon PDF 32 KB

Additional documents:


Vanessa Gregory, Curriculum Consultant, introduced the draft Rotherham SACRE Annual Report for the 2011/12 academic year. 


It was noted that the DfE requirement for SACREs to produce an annual report had been lifted.  The Rotherham SACRE felt that it was good practice to continue to collate the information on an annual basis and agreed to continue the practice.


The content of the draft annual report was: -


  • Updates from the 2011/12 activities from the various SACRE stakeholders;
  • Training activities that had been undertaken by members of the group;
  • Discussion on the update to the review and writing of the new SACRE constitution;
  • Examination results attained in religious education.


Resolved: -  (1)  That the draft Rotherham SACRE Annual Report for 2011/12 be accepted. 


(2)  That the Rotherham SACRE continue to produce an annual report document detailing the group’s work.


(3)  That the SACRE Annual Report for 2011/12 be circulated to the group. 


Curriculum Consultant update: -


  • Primary liaison;
  • Training opportunities update;
  • Funding. 


Vanessa Gregory, Curriculum Consultant, provided an update on her curriculum consultant work.


  • Primary liaison with Rawmarsh Ashwood Primary School: -


  • Deep monitoring review;


  • Three visits had taken place to conduct the review and had included undertaking student voice exercises and observations of lessons and assemblies, including a Minister-led assembly;


  • Identified actions from the review had included: -  re-writing the RE policy, introducing the Minister-led assembly format to other schools and the wider introduction of godly play sessions.


  • Training opportunities: -


  • ‘Creative Christianity’ Flyer.


  • Collaborative trip to three places of worship.


·         Funding: -


  • The funding bid for £4k to support secondary school work had been refused.  Feedback received had been positive about the bid but the bid had failed due to a limited availability of resources and the large number of bids received.


Resolved: -  That the information shared be noted. 


The RE Team update.


  • Nicki Goodwin, The RE Team, to report. 


Nicki Goodwin, The RE Team, provided an update to the SACRE on the progress of the RE Team over the past twelve months: -


  • Fantastic year – schools were already approaching for dates for the forthcoming Academic Year;
  • The RE Team had worked with 12 schools in the north of the Borough;
  • It was developing teams in the Broom and Clifton areas.  A potential team in the Wingfield area was being explored.


Nicki showed a clip of children engaging in RE Team activities: -


  • Godly play;
  • Learning about awe and wonder;
  • Asking questions;
  • Delivering RE lessons;
  • Visiting a Church;
  • Assemblies;
  • Feedback from a Headteacher;
  • Breakfast clubs.


The clip also displayed quotations from children who had taken part in the activities.  The quotations were positive endorsements of their experiences. 


Resolved: -  That the information shared be noted. 




  • Hannah Etheridge, Democratic Services Officer, Resources Directorate, to report. 


The Democratic Services Officer reported that on 2nd June, 2009, three determinations against a school being obliged to follow a broadly Christian programme of worship had been granted to: -


  • Broom Valley Community School;
  • Thornhill Primary School;
  • St Ann’s Junior and Infant School. 


The process that had led to the agreeing of the determinations was considered. This had included school visits by members of the Rotherham SACRE to observe assemblies and the provision of advice and guidance on the school’s legal requirements and responsibilities. 


It was suggested that the issue of determinations be a main focus in the SACRE’s work programme for 2012/13, to enable the determinations to be renewed/revoked on 1st September, 2013. 


Resolved: -  That a determinations working party be established to plan a work programme in relation to collective worship. 


Date and time of the next meetings: -


Proposed meeting dates: -


  • Wednesday 3rd October, 2012;
  • Wednesday 6th February, 2013;
  • Wednesday 26th June, 2013.


All meetings to begin at 4.00 pm in the Rotherham Town Hall.


Resolved: -  That the Rotherham SACRE meetings during the 2012/13 Academic Year be: -


  • Monday 1st October, 2012;
  • Thursday 14th February, 2013;
  • Monday 1st July, 2013.


All meetings would begin at 4.00 pm and be held in the Rotherham Town Hall.