Agenda and minutes

Rotherham Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) - Tuesday 12 March 2019 4.00 p.m.

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

Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Welcome and introductions


The Chair offered a warm welcome to all attendees and formal introductions were made.


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 9th October, 2018 pdf icon PDF 80 KB


Agreed:-  That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 9th October, 2018 be approved as a correct record.


Matters arising from previous minutes


Further to Minute No. 16 (Rotherham SACRE – Representation) it was noted no Jewish representative had yet been identified and this would again be followed up.


With regards to Minute No. 20 (Rotherham SACRE Development Plan 2017/18) it was noted this would be submitted to a future meeting based on the responses.


Understanding Christianity and Faith Leaders (Sheffield document)


The Chair welcomed Huw Thomas, Director of Education from the Diocese of Sheffield who circulated the booklet “Understanding Christianity – Text Impact Connections”.


Information was shared on purpose of sharing the “Understanding Christianity” booklet which had been provided nationally by the Church of England to enliven and deepen children’s understanding of what Christians believed and sought to ensure that when the Christian faith was present, it was done so in an inclusive spirt using resources that would engage and interest staff and pupils.


The booklet offered a simplified account of the concepts selected, representing a mainstream Christian understanding the materials within showed that there were different ways to make sense of the Christian belief and practice.


The “Understanding Christianity” course involved commitment from schools to a member of staff attending two training days and two twilights of up to sixteen hours of training.  This programme would then be cascaded back into school.


Within the Diocese of Sheffield there was no charge for the training, but schools were expected to buy the resource costing £50.00.


To date feedback from schools had been very positive and anyone wishing to get involved from Rotherham were asked to make contact (details were provided).


A discussion ensued and questions were raised about the numbers of schools that had already participated in Sheffield, how the knowledge could be extended beyond the SACRE syllabus and the current training cohort numbers.


Huw Thomas was invited to share information about the advice leaflet for “Faith Leaders of Sheffield –School Visits and Visitors” he had circulated which had been launched in Sheffield and sought a view on whether this offer was also of interest in Rotherham.


He described the reasons for its conception and the positive encouragement to schools to develop links with the varied faith communities to ensure children encountered a diversity of religions.



Further discussion ensued on the faith leaders who were engaged and who were encouraging the use of visits and speakers to broaden children’s experiences of faith.


The value of such a concept was welcomed, needed further consideration of how this could also be established in Rotherham to encapsulate the spirt which would then need to be promoted.


It was suggested that the Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education consider the content further at its next meeting, to then finalise a leaflet version and circulate to schools.


Agreed:-  (1)  That Huw Thomas be thanked for his contributions.


(2)  That information be shared on the “Understanding Christianity” concept training.


(3)  That consideration of Faith Leaders School Visits and Visitors take place at the next meeting.


Hate Crime

Presentation by PC Chris Nicholson


The Chair formally introduced Chris Nicholson, Hate Crime Co-ordinator – South Yorkshire Police, to the meeting who gave an overview of his role, what a hate crime constituted and how such incidents could be reported.


Chris Nicholson described his involvement with young people looking specifically at learnt behaviours, attitudes, acceptances of differences, vulnerabilities and the various aspects of prejudice.


He explained hate was any incident or crime which was motivated by prejudice or hostility against a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identify or disability. 


The differences between a hate crime and a hate incident were described in detail (specific examples were provided) and could include a physical assault, damage to property, offensive graffiti, arson and inciting hatred online and on social media.


As Hate Crime Co-ordinator visits were being made to community groups and schools to share and deliver relevant information.  Leaflets and cards with relevant contact information and detail on how to report crime or incident were circulated.


A number of questions were raised and it was noted that work with schools had primarily been with secondary age children, but the uptake to date had been limited.  It was hoped by raising the awareness further other schools and colleges would be encouraged to participate.  Information on take up would be provided to Vanessa Gregory to share and see how this kind of work could link in with other school projects and whether or not there was some value on sharing information in Years 5 and 6.


Agreed:-  (1)  That Chris Nicholson be thanked for the informative discussion.


(2)  That information be forwarded to Vanessa Gregory to circulate to schools.


Rotherham SACRE - Funding and Staffing Update


Further to Minute No. 17 of the meeting of Rotherham SACRE held on 9th October, 2018 the Chair confirmed Vanessa Gregory would again take up the post of Curriculum Consultant on a five day funded basis to undertake the range of duties required in order to make Rotherham SACRE effective.


The Standing Advisory Council were receptive to some of the work being delegated from within and offered their support where necessary.


Clarification was sought from Vanessa Gregory on her remit and whether the five day funding extended to a request to deliver a lesson on Islam.


The Standing Advisory Council believed this should not form part of the five allocated days, but that some form of brokerage service should be extended for specific teaching skills.  This may be a service that could be extended to subject leaders and key skill areas in the next academic year when looking at the curriculum offer.


Agreed:-  (1)  That the information be noted.


(2)  That further discussion take place on the preparation of the curriculum offer for 2020/21.


Annual Report 2016-17 Approval


Further to Minute No. 19 of the meeting of Rotherham SACRE held on 9th October, 2018 consideration was given to the contents of the draft 2016/17 Annual Report of Rotherham SACRE, which was circulated at the meeting.


Comments and feedback were welcomed by the Chair prior to this being finalised and forwarded to the Clerk for inclusion on the website.


Agreed:-  That the final version of Rotherham SACRE Annual Report 2016/17 be forwarded for inclusion on the website.


Results from Survey


Deferred to the next meeting.


Agreed:-  The results of the survey would be shared at the next meeting.


Raising awareness of RE


·             RE Conference.

·             REwards Ceremony.


Consideration was given to the details for the RE Conference and REwards Ceremony for 2019/20.


The Conference was arranged for 7th June, 2019 at Rockingham Teachers Centre, including lunch, which was to be circulated to schools in the Rosis circular. The cost was £50.00 for schools in Rotherham and £130 for other local authorities/other organisations.


Agreed:-  That the information be noted.


SACRE Development Plan


This item was deferred to the October meeting.


Any Other Business


There was no other business to report.


Dates and time of next meeting


·             Tuesday, 11th June, 2019 at 4.00 p.m.

·             Tuesday, 22nd October, 2019 at 4.00 p.m.

·             Tuesday, 11th February, 2020 at 4.00 p.m.


Agreed:-  That the next meeting take place at Magna Science Adventure Centre on:-


·             Tuesday, 11th June, 2019 at 4.00 p.m.