Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster DN1 3BU. View directions
Declarations of Interest, if any
No declarations were reported at the meeting.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 20th April, 2022 be approved as correct record and signed by the Chair.
The Chair presented a report to Committee on the 2022 NASACRE Conference that took place on-line on 23rd May. He stated that there were about 140 people who attended. The main conference consisted of three sessions each with a keynote speaker and discussion in break-out groups. He stated that he had also attended two workshops. The topics covered were as follows:-
In terms of the Annual Report for SACRE, it was suggested that this should be completed annually to coincide with the academic year. It was also noted that a lot of SACRE’s have problems with inquorate meetings.
Discussion took place with regard RE teaching and whether people thought there were encouraging signs of children’s understanding of faiths. Some Members noted that 7-8 years olds have understanding of what religion is however, younger children may find this difficult. Similarities between faiths such as Christianity and Islam were also discussed, and those similarities would make it easier for children to understand which is encouraging.
With regard to the reviewing of SACRE Membership, the Chair pointed out that Doncaster SACRE had no Buddhist representative. Paul Ruane stated that there was a Buddhist Community with the Hatfield area of the Borough but a response had not been forthcoming. He agreed he would follow this up. It was also suggested that Paul liaise with the Shia Community to seek representation within Group A membership.
In relation to using the Westhill Grant for setting up dialogue between teachers and faith leaders, Lat Blaylock reported that 3 projects had been suggested as follows:-
(1) The update be noted;
(2) Paul Ruane liaise with the Buddhist and Shia Communities to identify further representation of faiths on Group A of SACRE.
Membership of NASACRE (Budget and Training for SACRE Members)
The Chair sought Members views with regard to joining NASACRE. It was advised that whilst there was a small budget set of which the majority goes towards the wealth of knowledge provided by Lat from RE Today, there would be a small amount left for Doncaster SACRE to join NASACRE and it was felt this would be beneficial to the Committee as they would have access and benefits provided by the National Association.
RESOLVED that Doncaster SACRE agreed to seek membership to NASACRE.
Report of progress by the School Visits Sub-Committee
The Chair reported that a number of Members had put their selves forward to sit on the Sub-Committee and whilst they had not been much progress with regard to this issue, he wished to advise that a meeting would be taking place on Monday 4th July, 2022 at 3pm at his house. An invite for the meeting would also be forward to those who are accessing the meeting on-line.
RESOLVED that an update report be submitted to the next meeting of SACRE scheduled to take place on Thursday 10th November 2022.
Improving Communications between SACRE Members - Discussion.
The Chair made a proposal to Committee on introducing a Whatsapp Group for SACRE Members to enable the sharing of information. The Committee welcomed the suggestion. Members were not obliged to partake but those wishing to could forward their details to the Chair outside of the meeting.
RESOLVED that any members wishing to be part of the Whatsapp Group forward their mobile telephone number to the Chair in order for the group to be established.
Continuing Professional Development (for Teachers) (CPD), report on recent meetings and plans for the future, including discussion on engagement for Secondary CPD Group.
Lat Blaylock reported to Members that training had taken place this morning of which the Chair had observed. He stated that whilst the numbers of Teachers was low, there were a number of new attendees, which was pleasing to see. The topics of the training which were cross curricular in nature were well received.
He went on to advise that it was the hope that on the day of the next meeting on 10 November, 2 visits could be arranged to visit places of worship. Lat stated that as well as teachers and himself, he was keen to invite all Members of SACRE. He would liaise with Sameena Choudry on the arrangements.
In terms of the summer term, Lat advised that sequencing/progress in the curriculum would be a topic to look at. However, he stated that more reading was required prior to delivering the training. He commented that not every SACRE manage to do what Doncaster does which is all credit to the enthusiastic teachers. Tara Moxon reported that there were lots of new teachers attending training and felt it would be beneficial to new attendees to go back to basics. It was suggested that this could be a topic at the Summer term training.
In conclusion, it was hoped that with the addition of the 2 visits to places of worship will attract more Primary and Secondary Teachers as well as SACRE Members.
(1) The update be noted;
(2) ‘Back to basics’ be added as a topic to the Summer Term training;
(3) Lat to liaise with Sameena regarding arrangements for the visits to places of worship on 10 November, 2022.
An inter-authority SEND event with Anna Krismann and discussion on how to promote effectively.
Following on from the last meeting, Lat Blaylock advised that he had been in touch with Anne Krismann and she was willing to provide this training on Special Needs. He stated that the date proposed was Thursday 2nd March 2023, however a local venue was still to be confirmed. Lat advised that there had been some dialogue with other local authorities to provide a combined authority approach and so far Rotherham have confirmed their interest and Sheffield were considering the proposal, whilst Barnsley have yet to reply. He stated that it could be wider spread if there was willingness to do so.
Lat reported that once all arrangements were confirmed, the event would be advertised widely. He suggested that there could be a charging fee, which should be set at different levels. Paul Ruane suggested that it would be beneficial to include SENCOs which will generate a good audience.
In terms of a venue, it was advised that the Legacy Church at Armthorpe or Castle Park Rugby Club were possibilities and have been used in the past for many events.
In conclusion, Lat also sought a representative to attend from SACRE to observe the event. The Vice-Chair, Councillor Glynis Smith also asked that mainstream schools also been included as there are a number of special needs teachers working in these schools.
The following members wished to be involved with the event:-
Vice-Chair, Councillor Glynis Smith
RESOLVED that the update be noted and Lat to lead on arrangements and advertise when confirmed.
National updates (RE Today) - Lat Blaylock
Lat Blaylock reported that the newsletter and update had been produced which contains new items and details regarding training which Teachers will find helpful. He advised that this would be forwarding this to Paul Ruane who could them disseminate to all schools.
RESOLVED that the newsletter and update be forwarded to all schools following the receipt of the information.
This item was discussed at Agenda Item 8
The Committee were presented with the Constitution and Terms of Reference which was last reviewed in 2017.
Discussion took place with regard to the 4 Groups that make up the membership of SACRE and a query was made in relation to the word denomination in Group A and whether this was the right form of wording to be used. It was advised that this was the legal phrase that should be used. However it was felt that there could be a form of wording used in brackets after it, for example (religious communities or world view communities).
In terms of substitutes highlighted in paragraph 13 of the Terms of Reference, the Chair asked whether this could be added to future agendas, to advise members if they were unable to attend there was the option to send a substitute on their behalf. He also stated that this would avoid inquorate meetings. In response, it was noted that these would need to be named substitutes and an Officer Decision would need to be taken and signed by the relevant Director prior to substitutes being able to attend.
The Chair stated that he would look at his responsibilities which were outlined in Paragraph 19
In terms of voting, Committee were assured that decisions that were contentious were very rare, SACREs tend to be consensual in most of their decisions and there was unlikely to be any issues regarding voting.
In terms of Group A, a query was raised with regard to Muslim/Islam, stating that these were the same and one should only be listed.
(1) The words ( (religious communities or world view communities) be added after denominations within Group A;
(2) An Officer Decision be undertaken and approved to nominate named substitutes to attend SACRE meetings in the absence of the representative;
(3) An advisory note be added to future agendas regarding attendance if required; and
(4) The Constitution and Terms of Reference be brought back to the November SACRE meeting for formal approval.
Planning for the coming year.
The Committee had a discussion in relation to Planning for the coming year and what SACRE should be looking at in terms of agenda items.
Following a discussion, it was suggested that the following items be added to SACREs work programme:-
The Chair informed Committee that prior to todays meeting, he along with Lat and Paul met to discuss agenda items and he advised that this would continue for all meetings and would like to extend that invitation to the Vice-Chair.
(1) The items listed above be added into the work programme;
(2) The Chair, Vice-Chair, Paul Ruane and Lat Blaylock meet prior to each SACRE Meeting to discuss agenda items for consideration; and
(3) Any further suggestions were welcomed and should be forwarded to the Chair and Paul Ruane for discussion.