Agenda and minutes

Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE)
Monday, 25th January, 2016 4.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Sue Lawrence  023 8083 3569

No. Item


Welcome, Apologies and Changes Of Membership

To receive any apologies and changes to membership.




The Chair welcomed new members to the SACRE.  It was noted that Dr Gil Dekel had joined as representative for the Jewish Faith but had unfortunately had to give apologies for this meeting; Mary Wallbank had joined the SACRE as representative for Humanism and that Chris Davis was now representative for the Baptists having previously been a co-opted member.  Sam Jordan was attending today’s meeting as an Observer.


Apologies were received from:

Group A - Margaret Blake, Neil Maddock, Dr Gil Dekel

Group D - Councillors Satvir Kaur and Warwick Payne


Minutes of the Last Meeting including Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd November 2015, attached.




RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 23rd November 2015 be agreed as a correct record.



Advice Document

To approve the draft Advice Document and recommend its circulation to all schools by the Local Authority (document to follow).


The SACRE received a verbal update on the progress of the advice document to advise the Local Authority regarding issues that schools may face linked to faith and / or cultural issues.  The aim was also for the document to be a useful support in considering different faiths when developing policy and responding to requests/questions.  The approval for the final draft from the SACRE was sought. Following approval of the SACRE the document would go forward to the LA and then be available to go out to schools. It was accepted that the document would change and a first revision undertaken after the first year.


The draft document and the feedback received had been seen by SCC Corporate Legal Services.


It was AGREED that the Advice Document, as circulated to SACRE members at the meeting, subject to final proof reading / graphic design changes, be approved by the SACRE to go forward to the Local Authority. 


For note – the Muslim Council of Southampton have developed a comprehensive guide for supporting Muslim pupils in schools of their own, which is in draft at the moment. The Chair had been in dialogue with Alison about this and it is seen as a positive step forward in the information available within Southampton for our schools. (Update to SACRE when it is available).



Action Plan Workshop pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Main agenda item – active workshop session focussing on the SACRE’s Action Plan, attached.



The SACRE considered the draft Action Plan for the Southampton SACRE with a view to reviewing progress so far in the form of an active workshop session.


It was agreed that the sub-groups for the Film Project and the Roadshow form a joint workshop group for this meeting.


Following the workshop session the meeting reconvened for feedback from each group and to discuss the way forward.

The Advice Document working group had discussed the possibility of a launch event for the document.

The Monitoring Sub-Group had agreed a template for feedback to the main SACRE which would indicate the number of schools visited, when and identified areas for development, strengths and general views.  It was agreed the template be tested at the next meeting.


The Roadshow working group had developed ideas for the different levels:

·  A competitive debate for teams from senior schools, possibly using a film from the Film Project. This would require the development of briefing packs and key questions for each film.

·  For primary schools a Question Time type event was proposed with the key question of “Who of faith would you like to meet?”


The Roadshow working group invited the Film Project sub-group to meet with them on 11th March. 


The Film Project working group would be meeting shortly with Solent  University to pitch for a film aimed at primary schools based on theme of diversity / unity to be filmed in children’s homes, places of faith and school (without any school branding apparent) posing the question of “When did you stop playing together?”  The expected timescale was filming in mid-February, final editing mid-March with possible access via the web-site if possible; final version to be brought to the June SACRE meeting.


It was clarified that whilst the Roadshow was not dependent on the Film Project it would provide support and that together the two projects could be used to support the launch of the revised Agreed Syllabus.


With regard to the Web-page development – Alison Philpott reported that this would be clearer at the next meeting.  Members discussed various possibilities for the web site.


It was AGREED that Action Plan progress be reviewed again at the June 2016 meeting.



Feedback from Monitoring Working Group

Standing agenda item – verbal update on school visits undertaken to monitor practice regarding RE and collective worship.


Alison Philpott provided a verbal update on school visits undertaken by the sub-group to monitor practice regarding RE and collective worship in schools in the City.


A schedule of visits had been agreed but this would be further facilitated by increasing the membership for the sub-group.  Any interested members were invited to contact Alison direct.  ID cards had been arranged for the sub-group members to present when on a school visit.


It was reported that whilst academies had been contacted, none had responded.  However, as the visits increased it was hoped that their value / benefit to schools would be appreciated and take-up would increase.


It was reiterated that the feedback on visits to the SACRE would, in line with the Protocol previously agreed, be anonymous and the individual reports produced would remain confidential to the Monitoring Group members and the school involved.  A summary report of any monitoring visits would be submitted to the SACRE meeting.  Any non-compliance issues would be reported to the LA officer for action. Individual schools would not be named in the main SACRE meetings - building trust with Head teachers was essential - the purpose of the visits was to provide an overview of schools in the City, provide feedback to the Headteacher / Head of RE and to inform best practice advice - not to inspect individual schools.


Further updates would be provided at future meetings of the SACRE – at this point only one report had been finalised but by the next meeting it was expected that the results from around eight visits would be available.



Government guidance on religious education

Discussion item on Government guidance protecting freedom of schools over religious education.


SACRE members are requested to update themselves prior to the meeting by following the link below:




The SACRE briefly discussed the Government guidance protecting freedom of schools over religious education.  The expectation was that there would be further updates to the issued guidance which would be circulated to SACRE members for further consideration.


It was AGREED that this item be brought back to a future meeting.


RE attainment in schools pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Verbal update from Alison Philpott regarding RE GCSE results for schools in the City, data document attached.



The SACRE received a verbal update from Alison Philpott regarding RE GCSE results for schools in the City to date.


It was noted that:

·  most categories had improved for the GCSE full course.

·  The offer for the full course at Key Stage 4 was outlined.

·  The GCSE RE syllabus was not yet available but expected in the next few weeks.


The SACRE discussed the data per the circulated document.


It was AGREED that further updates be provided when data was available.


Feedback on Events

To receive feedback and updates from members of the SACRE on any events or training attended.



The SACRE received feedback and updates from members of the SACRE on events or training attended.


Elizabeth Jenkerson had attended the recent meeting of the RE Council.



Dates of future meetings

To agree dates for future meetings.


(NB Monday, 27th June 2016 was agreed at the previous meeting).



Members were reminded that it had been agreed at the November meeting that following the January 2016 meeting, the SACRE next meet at the end of June (subsequently arranged for Monday 27th June 2016, 4 pm – Conference Room 4, Civic Centre).