Agenda and minutes

Rotherham Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) - Monday 21 November 2016 4.00 p.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham S60 2TH

Contact: Hannah Etheridge (Ext 22055) 

No. Item


Election of Chair for the 2016/17 School Year


Agreed:- That Mrs. N. Goodwin be appointed Chair of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education for the 2016/2017 academic year.


(Mrs. N. Goodwin in the Chair)


Election of Vice-Chair for the 2016/17 School Year


Agreed:- (1) That Mrs. T. Williams be appointed Vice-Chair of the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education for the 2016/2017 academic year.


(2) That the former joint Vice-Chair, Mrs. C. Webster, be consulted as to whether she would wish to fulfil the role of Vice-Chair again, jointly alongside Mrs. Williams.


(3) That appreciation and thanks be expressed to Mr. C. Wells for his contribution to the Rotherham SACRE as joint Vice-Chair throughout the 2015/16 academic year.


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 21st June 2016 pdf icon PDF 40 KB


Agreed:- That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 21st June, 2016 be approved as a correct record, with a clerical correction by the inclusion of Mrs. H. Lambert, Mr. A. Griffin and Mr. I. Jones in the list of persons present attending the meeting.


Matters arising from previous minutes


The following items were updated:-


(1) (Minute No. 64 – previous meeting’s minutes) – there was still no clarity as to the identity of the Local Authority Community Cohesion Co-ordinator, since Mrs. Z. Ahmed had been appointed to a different role with other responsibilities.


(2) (Minute No. 65 – SACRE representatives) – discussion took place on the need for continuing action to try and increase the membership of the SACRE, especially with representatives of the Islamic/Muslim faith. It was agreed that Mrs. Z. Ahmed would be contacted and asked for support with the recruitment of Muslim representation for SACRE.


(3) (Minute No. 66 – Curriculum Consultant) – the Walsall Local Authority had  charged schools a minimal fee of £50 to attend the launch of its Agreed RE Syllabus to cover the cost of the half-day training and issue of a paper copy of the Syllabus. The Luton Local Authority (thirty schools larger than Rotherham) had a budget for SACRE which the Local Authority provided up-front and then a cost was attached to RE support, entitling school to three network meetings and a student conference.  Mrs. V. Gregory would continue to seek advice from Mr. L. Blaylock on how the SACREs fund their work.


(4) (Minute 67 – South Yorkshire RE Conference) – it was noted that Value Added Tax would have to be included with the course fee and that local authorities and schools/academies (as public bodies) would be able to reclaim the VAT from HM Revenues and Customs. Any persons booking on the conference independently of schools would be charged the amount of VAT.


Rotherham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2016


The SACRE meeting received a presentation from Mrs. T. Williams about the Rotherham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education launch, held at the Rockingham Professional Development Centre, Rotherham on Thursday, 17th November, 2016.


The presentation included the following information:-


: updates from the previous Syllabus, with continuity being a key factor.


: the focus on the new way of assessing progress and emphasis where RE contributes to literacy, personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, citizenship studies, spiritual, moral, social and cultural (smsc) development and British values.


: Contents of the Syllabus – the various programmes of study for learners from age 3 years to 19 years.


: Central Themes – know and understand; express and communicate; gain and deploy RE skills.


: Information about Key Stages 1 to 3.


: RE in Rotherham to be thoughtful, creative, potentially profound, engaging and challenging for learners, plural (like the world) and widely connected.


: Copies of the RE Syllabus were available for purchase at £100 and had been offered for sale at a discounted price at the launch event.


All persons attending had been representatives of primary schools and had thoroughly enjoyed the event.


The SACRE meeting thanked Lat Blaylock and Vanessa Gregory for their hard work in arranging the Syllabus launch event and also Trish Williams for presenting the information at this meeting.


A follow-up training course, costing £100 and delivered by Lat Blaylock, supporting schools on delivering the syllabus had been organised by Mrs. V. Gregory for 17th November 2016. Ten delegates had attended. The various pages of comments of feedback from this training event would be scanned and distributed to SACRE members by electronic mail.


Agreed: That copies of the Rotherham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2016 be made available for members of the Rotherham SACRE.


Annual Report of Rotherham SACRE 2015/16


Discussion took place on the preparation of the Rotherham SACRE Annual Report for the 2015/2016 academic year.  Members were asked to submit comments and suggestions of items for inclusion in this Annual Report. Mrs. V. Gregory and Mrs. N. Goodwin would meet, prior to the next full SACRE meeting and draft the SACRE annual report. 


Agreed:- That the draft Rotherham SACRE Annual Report 2015/2016 be considered at the next meeting, to be held on 13th February, 2017.


Development Plan 2016/17


Discussion took place on the contents of the draft Rotherham SACRE development plan for 2016/2017.  It was agreed that the draft document be distributed as soon as possible to all members, for comment and subsequently be included on the agenda for the next Rotherham SACRE meeting.


Any Other Business


The following items were discussed:-


(1) South Yorkshire Religious Education Conference 2017 – arrangements were now being made for the Religious Education Conference which will take place on 14th March, 2017 at the Hub, 103 Canklow Road, Rotherham. The Local Authority had agreed to support this training event and further details would be reported as they became available.


(2) The first Religious Education South Yorkshire Hub event – this will be funded by grant from the Culham St. Gabriel’s Trust and intended for secondary school teachers, on how to deliver the new GCSE curriculum. This event will take place on Wednesday, 18th January, 2017, at the ‘Costa’ café, Meadowhall Way, adjacent the Meadowhall shopping centre, Sheffield (4.00 pm until 5.45 pm). Teachers will be asked to bring and share one tried and tested idea with other secondary practitioners across South Yorkshire. A further session for primary school teachers and possibly for teachers in special schools will be offered at a later date during 2017.


(3) Suggestion of a South Yorkshire Joint Committee for SACRE – during discussion of the need to increase the membership of the Rotherham SACRE, it was suggested that there may be scope to establish a Joint Committee (under the provisions of Section 102 of the Local Government Act 1972), with the other three principal local authorities in South Yorkshire, for the discharge of the SACRE function. It was agreed that advice be sought about the legal status of such a Joint Committee, for discussion at the next meeting on 13th February, 2017.


(4) Collective Worship and Determinations – it was noted that community schools may request a ‘determination’ if their school has a clearly defined non-Christian religious community. Maintained schools may apply to their local SACRE (academies apply directly to the Secretary of State for Education) and request a change of determination. A determination could remove the requirement of the Education Reform Act 1988 that collective worship should be ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’ and usually lasted for five years. It was agreed that maintained schools be reminded of the need to re-apply to the Rotherham SACRE for a fresh determination.


Date and time of the next meeting

To be agreed / confirmed: -


·         Tuesday 31st January, 2017

·         Tuesday 20th June, 2017 (TBC if coincides with Childrens’ Festival).


All to start at 4.00 pm. 


Agreed:- (1) That the next meeting of the Rotherham SACRE be held at the Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham on Monday 13th February, 2017, commencing at 4.00 p.m.


(2)  That the Summer term, 2017, meeting of the Rotherham SACRE shall take place on Monday, 19th June, 2017, at the Magna Centre, Templeborough, Rotherham, in order to coincide with the Childrens’ Festival (with the annual Rewards ceremony, celebrating good practice in RE, to follow the SACRE meeting on this same date).