Agenda and minutes

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) - Tuesday, 2nd November, 2021 10.00 am

Contact: Ann Hunter  03000 416287


No. Item




RESOLVED that the membership of the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) be noted.



Apologies for Absence/Substitutes


Apologies for absence were received from Mr S Manion (Chairman), Miss E Pope, Ms N Brownfield, Mrs C Elapatha, Mrs J Roddan, Ms F Hawkes, Mrs N Cheema and Mrs Naden.  Due to technical difficulties some members were unable to join the meeting.


In the absence of the Chairman, Mr Manion, and the Vice-Chairman, Mrs N Younosi, it was proposed and seconded that Mrs R Swansbury would chair the meeting.


RESOLVED that Mrs R Swansbury chair the SACRE meeting.



Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 200 KB


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2021 were correctly recorded and they be signed by the Chairman.


Mrs P Smith-Orr expressed her thanks on behalf of members of SACRE to Ann Hunter (Principal Democratic Services Officer), who had recently retired from Kent County Council, for her support and guidance.



Budget Update pdf icon PDF 71 KB


Mrs Smith-Orr gave an update on recent expenditure and welcomed ideas for further uses of the budget. Suggestions were made by members of SACRE for future RE Co-ordinators’ events and these included:


(a)  An event in the Spring term on the Holocaust and Kindertransport. Mrs Smith-Orr said she would contact Mrs Goldstein to discuss this further and would liaise with The Education People regarding arrangements for the event.


(b)  An event on wisdom through multi-faith suggested by Miss Walters. Mrs Smith-Orr said she would contact Adam Robertson, an RE Advisor, regarding the possible delivery of practical sessions at the end of the Spring term to primary and secondary schools.


(c)  An event for the summer term would be considered and Mrs Smith-Orr said she would discuss this further with Mrs Swansbury.


RESOLVED that the budget update be noted.



Films for Schools - Feedback


1.    Mrs Swansbury gave an update on the production of Religious Education films and said there were three further interviews under consideration covering Hinduism, Islam, and the Salvation Army.


2.    In relation to feedback on the interviews completed so far by Sikh and Catholic children, members of SACRE were positive about the content and the representation of diverse faiths. Some minor technical issues were highlighted in relation to sound and titles and Mrs Swansbury said she would see what could be done.


3.    Mrs Swansbury said she was mindful of safeguarding the young people in the films and said the videos were currently held on the Canterbury Diocese YouTube page, only accessible to those provided with the link. Mrs Smith-Orr said she would arrange for the SACRE page on KELSI to be updated asking for schools to contact herself directly for access to the films.


4.    Mrs Cheema had been in touch with Mrs Swansbury regarding a film at the Gurdwara in Gravesend and Mrs Swansbury confirmed there was still the time and resource to continue the project and create additional films. Miss Walters said she would investigate whether a young person would like to speak about the Anglican faith.


RESOLVED that the verbal update be noted.



Revision of the SIAMS Schedule pdf icon PDF 2 MB


Mrs Swansbury presented a series of slides from the Diocesan SIAMS Leads Briefing and highlighted the changes that had been made to the schedule in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation is attached as an appendix to the minutes.


RESOLVED that the verbal update be noted.


RE Consultant Report pdf icon PDF 664 KB

Additional documents:


1.    Mrs Smith-Orr provided a verbal update and presented a series of slides from Trevor Cooling’s NASACRE workshop, ‘Where Now with World Views’, presented to RE Co-ordinators on Thursday 23 September. The presentation is attached as an appendix to the minutes. The workshop focused on the RE subject being called Religion and World Views, explained what this meant in terms of everyone having a world view and personal set of ideas, and the importance of the lived experience in comparison to the traditional and historical aspect of religion.


2.    Mrs Smith-Orr said the workshop had received good feedback and had been thought provoking and helpful for teachers preparing for Ofsted. Members of SACRE thanked Mrs Smith-Orr for organising the event.


3.    In response to a question about including world views and practical examples in a review of the RE syllabus, Mrs Smith-Orr said the syllabus was reviewed every 5 years and the progress of Religion and World Views would be considered, when timely, alongside any offer from RE Today.


4.    Mrs Smith-Orr gave an update on the Wire Award and said for future meetings this should be a standing item on the agenda. Mrs Smith-Orr said one complete application, from Natasha Brownfield at St George’s School, had been received so far. Based on the evidence received, members of SACRE agreed St George’s School had done an excellent job and should be given the award.


5.    Mrs Smith-Orr said applications had been received from several schools who had not yet submitted their evidence in support, to which she would send a reminder letter. Mrs Smith-Orr had also provided extensions to schools and suggested strategies to replace visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


6.    SACRE members discussed the nature of the award and suggested it could be a certificate and £25 voucher. Mrs Smith-Orr said she would discuss the detailed arrangements with the Chair outside of the meeting.


7.    Mrs Grant made a request for inclusion of the Baha’i symbol (9-pointed star) on the application form and Mrs Smith-Orr said she would see whether this was possible.


8.    Mrs Smith-Orr concluded her report by saying she had been approached by a Kent School for support in delivering the RE syllabus, and said she had arranged for Miss Pope, on behalf of SACRE, to provide help and guidance.


RESOLVED that the verbal update be noted, and the WIRE award be made to St George’s School with detailed arrangements delegated to Mrs Smith-Orr in consultation with the SACRE Chair and Interim Chair of today’s meeting.


NATRE School workforce data 2020 pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:


1.    Mrs Smith-Orr introduced the report which was sent to each local authority by Deborah Watson, NATRE Research Officer, to accompany the release of school level data from the 2020 DfE School Workforce Census. The data included hours of RE taught in secondary schools and Mrs Smith-Orr said the report included most schools in Kent, but not all, as some did not respond to the census.


2.    Mrs Smith-Orr said, further to the recommendation made in the report, she would formally report to KCC that some schools in Kent had reported data to the DfE that suggested they were non-compliant with the law in relation to RE. Mrs Smith-Orr said she would ask KCC to investigate with the relevant schools and report the findings back to SACRE. Members of SACRE agreed the information received from KCC would be discussed at the next meeting and a support plan considered to help and empower schools that were struggling.


RESOLVED that the update be noted.


Annual Report 2020-21


1.    Mrs Smith-Orr reminded members of SACRE of the need to produce an annual report for 2020-21. She said NSACRE had asked all SACRE’s to use a new report format for consistency, and which would enable the DfE to undertake national analysis.


2.    Mrs Smith-Orr said she would prepare a draft report and send this to members of SACRE for their comments and would ask the Chairman of SACRE to write a welcome passage. The deadline for submission of the report was the end of January 2022.

RESOLVED that the verbal update be noted.


RE deep dive at a Kent School


1.    Mrs Swansbury said she was aware of two voluntary controlled church schools who had been visited by Ofsted in the last two weeks and who had undergone a Religious Education deep dive into the teaching of the subject. Mrs Swansbury presented a series of slides prepared by a teacher who had experienced a deep dive, which highlighted their thoughts and take on the experience.


2.    Members of SACRE agreed the presentation was very helpful. Mrs Swansbury said it had been shared with church schools and she would check whether the presentation could also be shared with community-maintained schools and included on the SACRE page on KELSI.


RESOLVED that the update be noted.