Councillors' Attendance Statistics
Agenda and minutes
Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education
Tuesday, 8 February 2011 7:00 pm
Venue: Salon - York House. View directions
Contact: Sam Walker, Democratic Services Officer, 020 8891 7156, Email: email@example.com
To consider and approve the minutes from the meeting of SACRE on 9 November 2010 attached.
The minutes of the meetings on 9 November 2010 were agreed as a correct record of proceedings and the Chairman authorised to sign them.
MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
The Committee agreed that the SACRE should continue to exchange minutes with the Interfaith Forum.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS & RECRUITMENT DRIVE
· To welcome new members Marilyn Mason – Humanist to the Committee.
· To consider the membership of Rabbi Yossi Ives to the SACRE.
· Highlight faith groups currently underrepresented on the SACRE.
The Chairman informed the Committee of the new representatives to SACRE – Mr Sondhi (Hindu) and Rabbi Y Ives (Jewish).
· The Committee discussed enlisting representatives from the following faith backgrounds: Catholic, Methodist, Baptist and Bahá'í. Pat Alden and the Committee Manager agreed to continue developing the membership.
Presentation titled: Peace in oneself is peace in the world – a Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic
Vivien Sunlight gave a presentation to the Committee on Buddhism entitled “peace in oneself is peace in the world.”
The presentation covered the Five Mindfulness Trainings of Buddhism and their similarity to other religions.
The Buddhist Five Mindfulness Trainings were guidelines, not laws, and could be applied to every moment of people’s lives. Vivian gave examples of how the trainings could be practicably applied to decision making, and in particular to young people making the right decisions in life.
The Five Mindfulness Trainings helped followers to ensure people were treated with respect and created a better living environment for all.
UPDATES FROM PAT ALDEN
· Impending Crisis - a personal perspective by John Keast
· Religious Education in England – a critical time: a personal perspective by John Keast
· Importance of Teaching – the schools white paper 2010
· English Baccalaureate sends a chill through the RE world
· RE Panel update
Pat Alden addressed the committee on the following issues:
· There was concern that the English Baccalaureate could exclude RE. It was hoped that RE would be included as an alternative humanities subject to English or geography.
· Although SACRE was a statutory body for local government there were concerns that the budget and support for SACRE could be threatened in the current economic climate. Some SACREs were having their budgets cut which, in some instances, had lead to a loss of specialist support. With this in mind, Pat suggested that SACREs would have to work more efficiently. An action plan needed to be drafted for SACRE.
· NASACREs winter newsletter 2010 had addressed the issues facing SACREs. Pat recommended that Committee Members read the newsletter (http://nasacre.org.uk/publications.html).
· Pat addressed the “Importance of Teaching” white paper that had recently been published. It suggested that the education system in England needed radical reform. The paper addressed all aspects of the education systems structure including: school funding, school improvement and curriculum, assessment and qualifications. Committee members were encouraged to read the paper: (http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationdetail/page1/CM%207980)
· The Committee discussed the positive influence of RE on community cohesion. It was felt that community cohesion was not something the government considered a priority.
· It was noted that the Council administration were keen to maintain support for SACRE.
· It was noted that SACRE had little influence over free schools which were funded by central government rather than local authorities.
· It was suggested that in future the Committee considered how SACRE could work along side the Education and Children’s Services, Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
The RE panel had launched a “be a church detective” visitors pack. The aim of this was to heighten visitors learning experience when visiting churches; rather than simply observing, visitors would be encouraged to understand the significance of religious artefacts. The Panel suggested that other places of worship join in. Pat had asked Mr Lahar, Mrs Singh and Mrs Sunlight to consider a similar resource for their own places of worship. Pat hoped that a pack for a Mosque visit would be produced soon.
SACRE ACTION PLAN
To focus specifically on:
· Management of the SACRE and partnership with the LA and other key stakeholders
· Contribution of the SACRE to the social and racial harmony agenda
The following points were discussed by the Committee:
· Consideration was given to inviting secondary school pupils to SACRE. This would help to gain an insight into their spritual, moral and cultural development. It was hoped the Committee could gauge their interest in RE at different levels of academic study. Year 9 pupils would be choosing their GCSE’s and the Committee felt they would of particular interest to SACRE. Year 11 pupils (6th formers) were also of interest as they would be making decisions for further education.
· The Committee agreed that SACRE should be engaging with head teachers.
· The Committee suggested that the SACRE could start producing a newsletter.
· Fronter - an open learning platform - was considered as a way of raising awareness of SACRE in schools. The Committee noted it was a very secure system for communication with pupils and teachers.
OFSTED INSPECTION REPORTS
The following schools have had Ofsted inspection results published since the last meeting: Orleans Park and Heathfield Infants.
Orleans Park scored grade“1” and Heathfield Infants scored grade “2” when judged on the extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Ofsted score system:
Grade 1 Outstanding
Grade 2 Good
Grade 3 Satisfactory
Grade 4 Inadequate
The Committee noted the results of Ofsted inspections at Orleans Park and Heathfield Infants schools;
· Orleans Park had scored grade 1 (outstanding) and Heathfield Infants scored grade 2 (good) when judged on the extent of pupils spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
· In addition the Committee noted that St Mary's CE School’s section 48 inspection was outstanding. However they had achieved excellent results for their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
· The Committee suggested that SACRE monitor schools that are underachieving and offer support.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
· Youth Parliament update
· Update on places or worship
· Councillor Naylor said the he and Councillor Percival (Strategic Cabinet member for Education, Youth and Children’s Services) planned to visit Heatham House in order to maintain a strong link with the Youth Parliament.
· The Committee agreed that future agenda items involving the Youth Parliament be put at the beginning of the agenda at future meetings.
· There would be a World Congress of Faith 75th Anniversary service at St Martin-in-the-Fields on July 24that 6:30 p.m.
· Hounslow Friends of Faith - Meeting of Priests and Faith Leaders on Monday 23rd May. The event would be opening with lunch from 12:30 at the Laxmi Naryan Hindu Temple, 60 Neville Close, Lampton Road, Hounslow TW3 4AA.
· Other points
· It was suggested that in order to build relations with academies within the borough, academy representatives could be invited to a future SACRE meeting.
· Alison Edwards informed the Committee that she was a Twickenham Academy council member.
· The Committee Manager presented the Places of Worship List provided by the Interfaith Forum. Members agreed it was a useful resource and it would be distributed to SACRE members via email.
· The Committee agreed it was important that the SACRE received feedback on the annual report.
· The 21st June was agreed as a provisional date for the next SACRE meeting.