Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Office, Waterdale, Doncaster DN1 3BU. View directions
Welcome/Introductions and apologies for absence.
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introductions were made.
Declarations of Interest, if any.
There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on the 6th July 2023 be agreed as an accurate record.
Report from the SEND day held on 12th July, 2023 (Vice-Chair, Councillor Glynis Smith and Lat Blaylock).
Vice-Chair, Councillor Glynis Smith and Lat Blaylock, representative from RE Today, provided the Committee with an overview of the SEND training day that was held on the 12th July 2023.
Those who attended the day were provided with;
· Practical ways to support children with special needs in many different ways, that were appropriate for them and their learning styles.
· Opportunities for sensory play.
· Examples of children learning and discovering/participating in new experiences.
· 10 case studies that gave practical examples of how different people looked to support children in different ways and how to introduce children to all religions.
It was added that 38 delegates travelled from across the country to take part in the SEND training day in Doncaster and that positive feedback was received.
Councillor Smith noted that she had thoroughly enjoyed participating in a joyful day and gave thanks to Lat and his colleagues for organising a successful event.
Following a question from Jane Reed, Lat responded that relevant material written for the SEND training day could be used to meet one of the priorities for the statutory curriculum review. This would show Doncaster SACRE’s continued commitment to the inclusion needs of all pupils.
· The report be noted
· Lat Blaylock proceed with publishing relevant information provided for the SEND Day as an appendix to a new syllabus.
RE in Schools: RE at Rowena Academy/Delta Academies (Tara Moxon)
The committee received a presentation from Tara Moxon the RE Lead for Rowena Academy, which outlined how RE is taught at the school.
It was highlighted to SACRE that;
· The school follows the RE Today scheme of work from nursery up to year 2 covering a wide range of religions and world views. Students participate in one RE lesson per week.
· The children know and understand there are many different religions and how that can have an impact on the world and people’s behaviours.
· Children are encouraged to celebrate different religions, and to understand that people have different beliefs and that is ok.
· As part of the RE lessons there is a focus on learning from religion and about religion. The different elements of religion such as people and places are made relatable to each child.
· Whilst each religion is covered throughout the RE lessons taught in school, each year group has a particular focus on one religion throughout the duration of the academic year.
· RE lessons are reviewed by the RE lead.
· Children are assessed on their knowledge and skills periodically throughout each year and at the end of each key stage.
· At the end of each term the whole school take part in a festival day celebrating a chosen religion. A different religion is chosen for each festival day.
During discussion Lat and Tara provided reassurance to the board that children between the ages of 5–14 years old learn about all religions and world views as part of the RE Today syllabus.
Tara confirmed following a question that community cohesion and links with local religious places and people are planned into the RE lessons taught at the school.
RESOLVED that the presentation be noted.
Communication with Schools - A strategy for the use of Edulog (Jane Reed)
Jane Reed, Head of Service for Education and Skills, gave a brief verbal update with regard to the communication between SACRE and schools. It was reported that one of the priorities for SACRE during the next academic year would be to continue to raise SACRE’s profile. Therefore, every half term there will be a different focus on SACRE and RE posted in the Edulog system.
It was noted that The Chair of SACRE now also has a specified email address within the Edulog system.
RESOLVED that the update on the strategy for the use of Edulog be noted.
Review of the REsources project (Chair, Bob Kiddle).
The Chair, Bob Kiddle, noted that it was 12 months since the REsources project was instigated and asked that some members of SACRE form a sub-committee to review the information currently held, and discuss how the project should progress. Those that wished to participate in reviewing the project were; Amy Roddam, Councillor Glynis Smith, Pahani Kaur and Sally Faulkener.
RESOLVED that the REsources project sub-committee review the REsources project and provide recommendations to progress the project at the next SACRE meeting in February 2024.
Westhill - Festival of Faith and Ideas - Progress report from meetings held on 17 July and 16 October, 2023 (Jugtinder Singh).
Tara Moxon gave the committee an overview of the arrangements for the Festival of Faith and Ideas. The date for the festival was confirmed as the 25th June 2024 at Willows Primary School. A wide range of religions are to be covered with six schools invited to bring one teacher and a few students to the festival. Various activities including food tasting and ceremonies will be on offer for everyone to take part in during the day.
The Chair wished to inform committee members that they would be welcome to observe the day if they wished.
RESOLVED that the progress report be noted.
SACRE Membership: Buddhism in Doncaster and Reports from the Gomde open day and the Chair's visit on 26th Sept, 2023 (Chair, Bob Kiddle).
The Chair reiterated to the committee the need for strengthening and increasing the membership of SACRE, and provided an update on his efforts in order to do so.
RESOLVED that the update be noted.
Notes and News
· Last year’s annual report (Jane Reed)
· Next year’s annual report (Jane Reed)
· NASACRE membership and training package
(Jane Reed/ Chair, Bob Kiddle)
· Chair’s e-mail address (Jane Reed)
· The WhatsApp (Chair, Bob Kiddle)
· StandUp!, SAFE and STEP (Chair, Bob Kiddle)
Jane Reed reminded SACRE that the purpose of the committee’s annual report was to hold the Local Authority to account. As the statutory body, SACRE must ensure and be satisfied that the status of RE in schools is high.
It was reported that SACRE had four agreed priorities for the next academic year, which are detailed as follows;
· To continue the profile raising of SACRE
· To continue with CPD and seek further opportunities
· To review the RE syllabus
· To evaluate the curriculum offer and SMSC offer in schools is across all phases.
It was explained that these priorities should culminate within the SACRE annual report. Jane suggested that an action plan be implemented to help strengthen those priorities further.
Following discussion about CPD and a member of the committee’s experience as a governor of a school, The Chair suggested a presentation be tabled at the next meeting.
SACRE members were encouraged by the Chair to join the SACRE Whatsapp group and use it appropriately.
It was confirmed to SACRE that the following links https://cst.org.uk/about-cst/safe-security-advice-for-everyone https://www.standupeducation.org/ and Discussing Contemporary Islamophobia in the Classroom | Facing History & Ourselves were circulated to schools through Edulog. The committee were advised that if they wish to use the Edulog system to circulate communications to schools then they should send the relevant documents or information to Bob Kiddle.
RESOLVED that the updates be noted.
Lat Blaylock presented data that the Department for Education collect through their annual statistical survey which showed the number of teaching hours by subject for Doncaster Secondary Schools.
Lat went on to highlight that the data showed that those schools of religious character were better at providing a suitable amount of time teaching Religious Education to students. Also that there were two schools listed that reported hardly any time was given to teaching RE.
SACRE were advised that the data showed that Doncaster secondary schools were providing very minimal amounts of curriculum time to the study or RE and world views.
Councillor Sue Knowles wished to note that the data provided within the agenda pack for this item was illegible.
RESOLVED that the data be noted.
Yorkshire and Humber RE Hub
Olivia Seymour from the Yorkshire and Humber RE Hub gave SACRE a brief overview of RE Hubs, what they are and the work that carry out.
Members were advised that the RE Hubs project began last year, to map the breadth of support for RE and world views in each region in England and Wales, and to highlight and strengthen any gaps in provision. The RE Hub aims to build relationships, provide support and resources the SACREs, teachers and other stakeholders in every region.
It was recognised that the RE Hubs were a national initiative with national support. There is also a steering group that has representation from key national organisations which support the RE Hubs.
Olivia wished to highlight that the RE Hubs offer free accredited training to RE providers across the country which allows organisations that complete training to obtain a nationally recognised kitemark, and a presence on the hubs website. The website allows the trained organisations and speakers to share their events and training within a calendar that schools and teachers can view.
Members were assured that the information uploaded to the website was quality assured.
It was also confirmed that it remains the schools responsibility to run all relevant safeguarding checks on any visitors or speakers that they invite into school.
· the presentation be noted
· the presentation be circulated to SACRE members.
Lat provided SACRE with a list of proposed questions that will form a questionnaire. The questionnaire aims to obtain the views of stakeholders in RE in Doncaster. The answers, ideas and views collected as a result of the questionnaire will be used to inform the new RE syllabus.
The committee were encouraged to submit any suggested modifications to the questionnaire to Lat following the meeting.
Once confirmed the final version of the questionnaire will be circulated as a link through the Edulog system and sent to schools to complete. The results of the questionnaire to be tabled at a future SACRE meeting.
RESOLVED that the draft questionnaire be noted.
Lat provided an update to Members on any relevant SACRE news and information, outlining the key issues nationally at the present time.
From the update Lat wished to highlight to SACRE;
· A letter to the Education Secretary questioning whether the training of new RE teachers be given higher priority.
· Education Select Committee
· DfE guidance on the placements of Humanists on SACRE. Doncaster already has Humanist involvement on SACRE and has done so for some time.
· Recruitment Crisis
· RE at the Party Political Conferences – those attended by RE national bodies representatives were positive with contacts made with parliamentarians.
· Training and networking – continue to work on anti-racist RE.
· RE Connect Teacher Fellowship Programme – Lat advised this will be circulated with all Doncaster schools.
· Further training opportunities within the report.
The Chair encouraged all SACRE members to read the update provided.
RESOLVED that the update be noted.
Liaison with neighbouring SACREs (Vice-Chair, Councillor Glynis Smith).
Hannah Lambert gave a brief verbal overview on Rotherham SACRE. It was advised that whilst Rotherham SACRE has a very small membership which limits the work it can do, it would be beneficial to work with neighbouring SACRE’s. Hannah also noted that Sheffield SACRE had expressed an interest in partnership working.
RESOLVED that the update be noted.
Succession Planning - a Chair-in-waiting (Chair, Bob Kiddle).
The Chair, Bob Kiddle stressed the importance of succession planning and that the committee should have members that were available to take over the leadership role if and when required.
Future agenda items (Chair, Bob Kiddle).
· Visits by school curriculum leaders
· The philosophy of the world view that each member represents
The Chair asked for comment and the committee discussed inviting a representative of RE from a Doncaster Secondary School to a future SACRE meeting. Amy suggested and agreed to approach contacts within Astrea Trust.
Bob also suggested that each SACRE member discuss their own faiths at future SACRE meetings.
Date and time of next meeting
Thursday 22nd February, 2024 at 4.30 pm
RESOLVED that the next meeting of SACRE be held on Thursday 22nd February 2024, at 4.30pm.