Councillors' Attendance Statistics
Agenda and minutes
Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education
Tuesday, 6 November 2012 7:00 pm
Venue: Terrace Room - York House. View directions
Contact: Joanne Straw, Governance and Scrutiny Officer, 020 8891 7603, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies were received from Sandra Routledge, Duncan Macpherson, Marilyn Mason and Lesley Mortimer.
Vivien Sunlight had resigned from her position on SACRE and David Foll had been nominated as her replacement. The Chairman welcomed Mr Foll to the group.
To consider and approve the minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2012 – attached.
The minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2012 were agreed as a correct record of proceedings and the Chairman authorised to sign them.
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION FROM THE SACRE ADVISOR
To introduce the SACRE Advisor, Lesley Prior, and to explain the aims of SACRE.
The Chairman introduced the SACRE Advisor, Lesley Prior, and members of the SACRE introduced themselves.
Ms Prior explained her background and significant experience working in roles related to religious education, teacher training and for the London Diocesan Board.
The group welcomed Ms Prior to the Richmond SACRE.
OVERVIEW OF THE REVIEW OF THE AGREED SYLLABUS FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
In accordance with the Education Act 1996 Chapter III, a SACRE must review their Agreed Syllabus every five years. A review must therefore take place in Richmond upon Thames in the 2012/13 academic year. The SACRE Advisor will present the options for how this review may be undertaken to the SACRE.
Councillor Chappell explained that it was the statutory role of the SACRE to conduct a review of the Agreed Syllabus at least every five years and that a review was due in this academic year. Councillor Chappell reminded the group that all but one secondary school in the Borough would be an academy by next academic year and that the remaining school was a Church of England school and therefore no secondary school was automatically obliged to follow the Agreed Syllabus.
The SACRE heard that religious education was the only subject designed at a local, rather than national, level. By law prominence must be given to Christianity to reflect the fact that religious traditions in England are, in the main, Christian. The syllabus must also include the other principal religions. The law does not prescribe what the other principal religions are and therefore this must be determined by the SACRE. The Geneva Conventions provide some guidance in designating Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism as the principal religions. The syllabus could also include secular world views. One challenge for the SACRE would be to ensure an inclusive Agreed Syllabus without over-burdening teachers.
Following questions raised and comments made the SACRE heard the following views from Ms Prior:
(i) A review does not automatically mean a revision; the syllabus may still be fit for purpose or it may be decided to postpone a full revision until after the education reforms have been made. Furthermore the religious education community is in the process of conducting a review on the teaching of religious education in schools, which has been funded by a number of charities. The first phase of this review involves researching and writing a report which gives a view of religious education in England. The second phase of the review would be to send a consultation to groups such as SACRE to comment on the report.
(ii) A revision may mean small revisions to the existing syllabus as evidence shows that this is easier for teachers to implement. Other Local Authorities have also researched other Agreed Syllabuses and bought in a Syllabus from another Local Authority.
(iii) The Chief Advisor of Ofsted has advocated an enquiry led approach to RE which would not be led by titles but by questions.
(iv) The structure of the group conducting the review – known as the Agreed Syllabus Conference - would be a decision for the SACRE to make. The Local Authority must support the Agreed Syllabus Conference. The Conference would usually be comprised of members of the SACRE. Therefore a short business meeting of the SACRE could be followed by an Agreed Syllabus Conference. A structure used elsewhere is to have a sub-group with a designated Convenor or Chair. This group would meet with the Chairman of the SACRE, Clerk and Consultant to set agendas. They could be given the power (by the full Agreed Syllabus Conference) to draw up draft proposals independently for a decision on those proposals to be ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
To receive any announcements from members of the Committee.
Charanjit Singh announced the following events:
Pauline Thomas announced the following event:
Rashid Laher announced the following events: