Declarations of Interest, if any
There were no declarations made at the meeting.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd February, 2023 be agreed as a true record.
SACRE budget 2023/24.
Jane Reed updated the Committee with the budget position for 2023/24. She outlined that she had spoken with finance colleagues and the budget allocated was a satisfactory amount to allow SACRE to carry out the work they wished to do and perform the required statutory duties. Looking forward to the year ahead, the Committee noted that it was approaching the time to review the required syllabus which had to be done every 5 years and this would be achievable within the budget allocation.
The Chair, Bob Kiddle, commented that he had spoken with Jane Reed, Head of Service, Education and Skills, and had some discussions as to what they would use the budget for to have the most positive effect in the coming year and they were satisfied that this could be done.
RESOLVED that the update on the SACRE Budget 2023/24 be noted.
Member Training - SEND TRAINING 12/07/23.
The Chair, Bob Kiddle reported that following an earlier postponement, this had now been finalised in the diary for Tuesday 12 July, 2023. Lat Blaylock, reported that there were currently 32 delegates confirmed with only a quarter of these from Doncaster, and many delegates coming from different areas of the country.
Lat reported that he would provide a full report on how the course went at the next meeting of SACRE but it was an extremely positive training course for Doncaster to be holding with a lot of interest put forward. He added that in fact they were slightly ahead of their counterparts in this respect, with the need for work in the area of Special Educational Needs in the area of RE only just becoming apparent.
The Vice Chair, Councillor Glynis Smith confirmed that she would be attending on behalf of Doncaster’s SACRE and if anyone else wished to attend, they would need to communicate with Sameena Choudry who had arranged the training.
RESOLVED that the update be noted.
Lat Blaylock, advisor to SACRE from RE Today, provided an update to Members on any relevant SACRE news and information, outlining the key issues nationally at the present time.
Members noted the following points of interest:-
· Census Data and Religion and World Views in our local area - Members noted this was a useable piece of data that provided helpful information. Lat advised he would recirculate the table with the correct data links
· Spirited Arts 2023 – this was a great competition for schools to get involved with
· New RE Lead appointed to Ofsted – The Committee noted that there had been a new subject lead for RE appointed at Ofsted.
· Children’s Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza – Members were informed that an interview had been carried out with the Children’s Commissioner which made for a very good read.
· BBC provides early years RE resources – The Committee noted that the BBC has widened its range of resources for RE in primary education, particularly in relation to Early Years with some useful activities and programmes.
· Educate against Islamophobia – this group had produced a number of educational materials for Early Years, Primary and Secondary School levels with a wide range of reflective material to encourage knowledge and awareness.
· Anti Racist materials – within the update, attention was drawn to the work of Jonathan Marshall and the resources he highlighted which complimented NATRE Anti Racist materials and was very useful for educators.
· RE Connect Environmental programme – the RE Connect Program was reported to be a fantastic initiative and Lat Blaylock commented that he would love to see one of Doncaster’s schools volunteer for this programme.
After the update had been provided, Members were asked for any comments. The Chair commented that there were a huge amount of resources and support available to them as a SACRE and it was important that Members took the time to follow it up and utilised the resources.
RESOLVED that SACRE noted the National Update from RE Today.
Draft SACRE Annual Report 2022-23 (To Follow).
The Committee considered the Draft Annual Report for SACRE for 2022-23 which had been circulated to all Members prior to the meeting. Drafted by the Chair, Bob Kiddle in consultation with Lat Blaylock, advisor to SACRE and Jane Reed, Head of Service, Education and Skills, the report provided an overview of all the work done by SACRE during the period, and once finalised and signed off by the Committee, it would be forwarded to the Department for Education (DfE) as required.
Key points of interest to note in the report included the following:-
· Publication of the REsources Project, which would soon be circulated in all Doncaster Schools;
· The success of the achievement of the Westhill Grant;
· SACRE had provided a lot of CPD to Primary School teachers across the borough over the past year and were continually working to strengthen the link with secondary schools;
· SACRE and a number of Doncaster teachers had visited a Mosque and Gurdwara in Doncaster City Centre and had proven helpful and informative.
Members welcomed the report and were pleased to see it was reflective of all the positive work undertaken by the SACRE Committee over the past year. There were still a number of areas they would be focussing on in the coming year, that would look to further strengthen the work of the Committee and there was a lot of work to be done, but as an overview, Members agreed that it demonstrated a lot of positive work had been carried out.
RESOLVED that once finalised, the report would be signed off by SACRE and forwarded to the DfE for approval.
Reports from NASACRE Annual Conference delegates.
The Chair, Bob Kiddle and Sally Faulkner updated the Committee with regard to their experience at the NASACRE Conference which they had attended recently.
They had both found it to be a very worthwhile event, and had provided a lot of information and resources that could be used by SACRE Members in the future.
It was noted that there had been some very meaningful discussions with individuals from all religious backgrounds and different world views which was invaluable.
The Chair informed the Committee that there had been information on a number of future events that could also prove very useful and invited all Members to log on to NASACRE and take a look.
RESOLVED that the update from the NASACRE Annual Conference be noted.
Update on REsources project - communication with schools and next stage.
The Chair gave a brief update with regard to the REsources project that had been developed over the past year by SACRE, It was reported that whilst they had made good progress with this project initially, it had stalled slightly and some more work needed to be done to get this into schools and raise awareness of it.
The REsources project is a directory of representatives from across all faiths in Doncaster, providing contact names and numbers if schools wished to use this resource for any Religious Education.
It was hoped that once this was projected into schools and teachers realised the benefit of utilising this directory, it would become more widely used in the future.
RESOLVED that the update on the REsources project be noted and the work be continued to complete and promote the project.
Westhill Grant - success and plans for implementation of the project.
Jugtinder Singh (Teacher Representative) provided an update to the Members at the meeting as she was leading on this project along with Tara Moxon, (Teacher Representative).
Members heard that the Sub Committee that had been formed at the previous meeting had been successful in their application and had won an amount of £3940 to use for the implementation of the project. Jugtinder Singh reported that the event would be held at her school, Willow Primary, Bessacarr and would host a range of activities for a colourful multicultural event. Members were invited to volunteer if they felt that they could assist in any way with this event.
Jugtinder reported that they would be holding a meeting at Willow School on 17 July, 2023 to discuss this event further and were advised to contact her for more information if they wished to help. The Chair reported that he would send a diary invite to those who had expressed an interest.
1) SACRE note the update with regard to the Westhill Grant;
2) Councillor Yetunde Elebuibon and Pahani Kaur be notified of all arrangements for future meetings with regard to this.
Membership of SACRE.
The Chair reiterated to Members the need for strengthening the Membership of SACRE and if anyone came across anybody who they felt may be a valued addition to the Committee they were asked to encourage them to think about joining the membership. Whilst it was not in SACRE’s gift to appoint them to the Committee, they could make a recommendation to the Authority to do so and in doing so ensure that the work undertaken was meaningful and valid.
RESOLVED that the Chair’s comments be noted.
Involving teachers, schools and MATs in the work of SACRE.
The Committee heard that like the RE sources project, this was an ongoing project that would continue to progress. Bob Kiddle, Chair of SACRE reported that he had held a brief discussion with Jane Reed earlier that day as to how they could further involve teachers with SACRE in the future, and moving forward would look to liaise more closely with schools.
Tara Moxon, Teacher representative had been due to attend the meeting and give a presentation to the Committee on the RE work carried out within her school but had unfortunately had to submit her apologies. This would therefore be given at the next meeting.
Members proposed that in addition to this, it would also be beneficial to hear from a secondary school alongside Tara, who would be giving information on Primary education and see the differences experienced. In addition to this, it was noted that many secondary schools were not meeting the legal requirements for the provision of RE and it would be interesting to hear a schools perspective. The Chair, at the request of Members informed the Committee he would look to contact Hunger hill Secondary School and enquire as to whether or not someone could attend the next meeting to give their perspective on this.
Jugtinder Singh, Teacher representative commented that she too would love to present information on her school in the future. At Willow Primary, Bessacarr, they were working towards the achievement of an RE Quality Mark and had some very positive work recently, including an assembly at school with the Imam from the Mosque who had been very engaging and informative with the children.
The Vice Chair, Councillor Glynis Smith reported that the Children’s Project Worker from the Church in Hatfield had visited all local schools recently and had provided a very positive and engaging experience for the children. Additionally, the pupils from Ash Hill Academy had attended Morning Communion on a Wednesday morning, which many of the children had very much enjoyed.
The Committee agreed that it was examples such as these, that were making a positive difference for RE in schools and it was important that this engagement continued.
1) Tara Moxon’s presentation be deferred until the next meeting of SACRE, giving her perspective of Early Years RE; and
2) An invite be extended to the RE Department at Hungerhill School to attend and provide an overview of the Religious Education provided there.
The Chair opened up a discussion regarding planning for the future and ensuring SACRE remained relevant and fit for purpose with a good team of Members. He pointed out that looking ahead, he would not be able to stay as Chair of the Committee for many more years, and he looked to other Members to step up and look at taking on the role in the future.
Members noted that over the past year, the current Members of the Committee had all committed to the successful operation of the SACRE and it was important that this momentum didn’t stop. The Chair therefore urged all Members to get more involved where possible and if there were any other areas in which they felt they could contribute they were asked to do so,
Date and time of next meeting.
RESOLVED that the next meeting of SACRE be held on Thursday, 19 October, 2023 at 4.30 pm.