Agenda and draft minutes

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - Wednesday 16th November 2022 2:00pm

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford. View directions

Contact: Mandy Pattinson  Email: mandy.pattinson@staffordshire.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

132.

Appointment of Chair and Vice Chair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved: That:

a.    Rev. Preb. Michael Metcalf be appointed as Chair of the SACRE until November 2023.

b.    Lauren Nicholson-Ward be appointed as Vice-Chair of the SACRE until November 2023.

 

133.

Apologies

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Gabi Oldfield, Maddy Belle, Sam Kirwan, Sam Phillips, Cllr Mike Wilcox and Cllr Paul Snape.

 

134.

Welcome to New Members

Committee A – Claire Tomlinson to represent the Roman Catholic church.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The SACRE formally welcomed Claire Tomlinson to represent the Roman Catholic church.

 

135.

Declaration of Any other Business

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of any other business on this occasion.

 

136.

Minutes of the meeting held on 29 June 2022 pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A minor amendment was requested of Minute 127 to change the word “rethinker” to “rethinkre”.

 

Resolved: That the minutes of the SACRE meeting held on 29 June 2022 be approved and signed by the Chairman.

 

137.

An Update on Key Issues - including workforce information pdf icon PDF 424 KB

Report of the Director for Children and Families

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The SACRE considered the report which covered the main issues affecting Religious Education (RE) in Staffordshire since the last meeting. Further to the written report, the following information was provided:

 

Continuous Professional Development

 

Entrust have approached Mary Gale to run face to face courses to provide network support for teachers. The autumn course is book for 22 November 2022, and to date 28 schools have booked onto this course.

 

Governors continue to receive updates on RE, the status of the Agreed Syllabus (AS) and the process for the review through the “Governor Information Pack”. Governors had also been encouraged to discuss the impact of the current AS. This information had reached 300 plus schools and over 200 leaders from these school joined an update webinar where RE was discussed as part and parcel of the information provided.

 

Update on RE Quality Mark application- St Chad’s Pattingham

 

The SCARE heard that St Chad’s Pattingham had received the SACRE grant to enable them to apply for this quality mark. The RE lead was working through the requirements collecting evidence for the virtual assessment. Mary Gale had supported the school to ensure they had a strong evidence base before the assessment. The school is awaiting its assessment date.

 

Westhill Legacy project- Explore, Engage, Reflect (EER) in conjunction with Youth Net.

 

The SACRE were reminded that funding had been provided for this project from the 2022-2023 budget through commissioning the Entrust Minority Ethnic Achievement Service (MEAS) to deliver workshops in conjunction with Youth Net. There had been a delay in the release of money from the SACRE budget, but this had now been released and dates for the Spring term 2023 support had been arranged.

 

Work force data for 2021

 

The workforce data is a database of statistics provided by schools indicating how many hours are taught on each subject matter – this primarily affects each Middle and High schools. Of the schools in Staffordshire there has been an improvement of hours spent on religious education in high schools in comparison to the last figures provided.

 

Standards

 

The SACRE heard that the GCSE system continued to use the new grading of 9-1, with 9 being the exceptional grade. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer exam series for the 2019/2020 academic year was cancelled for all schools in the UK and grades were awarded following a different process in Central Assessed Grades (CAGs). This continued into the 2020/21 academic year where they became Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs). Exams resumed with some modifications in 2022. This led to a large increase in the share of top grades. Historical data was provided to demonstrate Staffordshire’s Religious Studies GCSE performance (achieving grades 9 to 4) against the national average. The table below shows the figures.

 

Year

Area Average

Grade

Percentage

2019

National

9 to 4

72.3%

Staffordshire

9 to 4

65.9%

 

2020

National

9 to 4

80.5%

Staffordshire

9 to 4

76.4%

 

2021

National

9 to 4

80.2%

Staffordshire

9 to 4

77.5%

 

2022

National

9 to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 137.

138.

NASACRE Update pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Report of the Director for Children and Families

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The SACRE heard that the draft annual report, which would be presented later in the meeting, was a document that was produced by law and passed on to maintained schools in the county, to the County Council itself, to NASACRE, and to the Department for Education (DfE). Due to a lack of comeback from the DfE, NASACRE was prompted to commission Dr Hampshire (ex-chair of NASACRE) to analyse the reports and report on his findings. This would support the delivery and development of all future annual reports. This was welcomed by the Staffordshire SACRE.

 

NASACRE is continuing to collaborate with the development of regional RE Hubs, an initiative which is gaining momentum, and which is receiving a certain level of funding from educational trusts. The organisation of these Hubs corresponds to the regional distinction divisions which the DfE is working on. There may be need for the Staffordshire SACRE to collaborate with its regional hub in the future.

 

NASACRE has been involved with other educational departments to lobby the government, whilst the School’s Bill is in suspension, in a hope that improvements can be secured and gaps in provision can be filled, should the School’s Bill go forward.

 

Resolved: That the report be noted.

 

139.

Agreed Syllabus conference pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Education Act 1996 requires Local Authorities to review its locally AS every five years. Staffordshire’s syllabus was due to be reviewed in 2021 but due to the fallout from COVID-19 this was delayed. An Agreed Syllabus (AS) Conference had to be established in order to agree the revised AS. This would then be formally approved by the County Council.

 

The SACRE meeting was adjourned in order for the Agreed Syllabus Conference to be convened.

 

The Agreed Syllabus Conference (ASC) was convened. Attendance and apologies were as for the meeting of SACRE.

 

a.    The minutes of the last meeting held on 29 June 2022 were agreed.

b.    Further to the report, Mary Gale updated the ASC on the work undertaken since the last meeting and presented a final draft of the AS for discussion and approval.

 

The ASC was provided with the final draft of the AS for approval. By way of an update the SACRE were informed that:

·         a vision had now been included to complement the aims of the overall AS.

·         more detail had been included explaining that the AS sought to achieve this vision through following three specific themes - Exploring, Engaging, and Reflecting, supported by six dimensions.

·         additional references had been made to nonreligious beliefs and world views.

·         a number of appendices had been added to the document as examples of lesson planning to support delivery of the AS, as it was noted that this was often requested by schools.

 

A debate ensued about the way in which “world views” was presented. It was suggested that this could be one word, two words, two words hyphenated, one word capital W, or two words capital W and V. The NATRE website and teaching documents presented this as one word (without a capital W). It was initially suggested that, to keep consistency, this should be the way it was presented in the Agreed Syllabus. However, it was argued that it was grammatically correct to display it as two separate words as it was essentially the way in which a person “viewed the world”. It was agreed to consistently display the term “world view” as two words throughout the Agreed Syllabus, with additional detail added to the footnote on page 5 of the document to state that the “Staffordshire SACRE had chosen the editorial principle of presenting “world view” as two words but acknowledged that it was often referred to as one word”.

 

Additionally, some amendments were requested to be made to names included in the acknowledgments section of the document. Prior to publication, the format of the graphics and text would also be checked.

 

The Chair then invited each group of the ASC to vote as to whether they were happy to adopt the text as the Agreed Syllabus for 2023 to 2028 to present to the SACRE for adoption. Each group was asked in turn to vote with the following result:

 

Group A – unanimously voted in favour of the text going forward.

 

Group B – unanimously  ...  view the full minutes text for item 139.

140.

Adoption of the Agreed Syllabus

Additional documents:

Minutes:

SACRE officially received the Agreed Syllabus. Moving forwards, this would be passed on to the appropriate Cabinet Member for Staffordshire County Council ahead of it being authorised, published and distributed to schools.

 

Resolved: That the Agreed Syllabus be officially received by the SACRE.

 

141.

SACRE Annual Report for 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 751 KB

Report of the Director for Children and Families

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The SACRE received the draft SACRE Annual Report from the academic year 2021-22. This followed the template guidance supplied by NASACRE and included the following items.

 

      Introduction

      A summary of the work of SACRE 2021-2022

      Standards and quality of RE provision including Collective worship

      Managing the SACRE and partnership with the LA and other stakeholders

      The effectiveness of the local agreed syllabus and the review process

      Contribution of the SACRE to the wider community

o   Knowledge and understanding of the local religious, cultural and ethnic minority

 

Resolved: That the Annual Report be approved.

 

142.

The SACRE Budget 2022-2023 pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Report of the Director for Children and Families

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were informed that, of the budget of £6,114.00 that was currently available to the SACRE, the following commitments had been made from the SACRE annual allowance:

 

7 days for Agreed Syllabus work with MEAS team

-

£3,150.00

4 days for AS support and planning

-

£1,800.00

Agreed Syllabus Launch

-

£1,000.00

 

Resolved: That the SACRE Budget 2022-2023 be received.

 

143.

Development Plan pdf icon PDF 320 KB

Report of the Director for Children and Families

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Development plan was presented to the SACRE. The SACRE advisor spent some time explaining the objectives, activities, and the RAG rating which estimated the success of each objective.

 

Resolved: That the Development Plan be noted.

 

144.

Applications for variation of practice pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Report of the Director for Children and Families

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were none on this occasion.

 

145.

Dates of next meetings

Dates of next meetings

 

·         01 February 2023

·         28 June 2023

·         15 November 2023

 

All meetings commence at 2:00pm unless otherwise stated.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Dates of next meetings - All meetings commence at 2:00pm unless otherwise stated.

 

      01 February 2023

      28 June 2023

      15 November 2023