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Declarations of Interest, if any.
There were no declarations made at the meeting.
The Clerk informed the Agreed Syllabus Conference (ASC) of its duty to agree a Religious Education Syllabus which is educationally sound, meets legal requirements and may be adopted by the local authority. Members were also informed that the syllabus must be followed in maintained schools without a designated denomination and is subject to a review on a five yearly basis. The next review is scheduled to be undertaken during 2018.
A Sub-Committee of SACRE met on 14th December 2017 to consider options relating to the design and implementation of a new syllabus. A representative from RE Today was also invited to the meeting to provide information on the options available when reviewing and implementing a new syllabus. The meeting considered the future needs of a syllabus within Doncaster, as well as potential costs, impact on the quality of teaching, pupil progress and effectiveness of monitoring arrangements. It was agreed that further consideration be given by the ASC to the development of the syllabus and specifically the following three options:
· Option 1 - The design and implementation of a fully bespoke syllabus
· Option 2 - Use of a “franchised” syllabus which meets statutory requirements but has enhanced features and options such as teaching materials and resources which can be adapted to meet the needs of young people and teachers.
· Option 3 - Use a franchised system without the option of materials and CPD.
The Committee welcomed Fiona Moss to the meeting to provide further information on the options available to the ASC. Fiona reported that RE Today was a charity established to support Religious Education in schools, including the teaching of the major world faiths and ensuring an accurate and fair representation of beliefs, values and practices in all its teaching materials.
Fiona delivered a presentation that detailed the approaches available to SACREs when agreeing a syllabus.
RE Today had developed a draft syllabus which met minimum statutory requirements and could be adapted to include information to ensure it was Doncaster specific.
The presentation focused on the content of the syllabus including:-
· Purpose and aims of RE
· Key strands within the syllabus (Believing, Expressing, Living).
· Example of programmes of study for key stages
· Guidance on planning and delivering key units within the syllabus and examples of teacher resources
· Examples of syllabuses adopted by other local authorities.
· Advice on planning and launching the revised syllabus to ensure maximum impact.
· Model scheme of work and additional resources available to schools wishing to enhance their RE offer..
· Additional support available from RE Today for SACREs , schools and teachers.
The Committee took the opportunity to ask questions and the following issues were raised:
Members welcomed the resource package which was available to assist RE teachers and non-specialist teachers delivering RE lessons. It was felt this would be particularly helpful in Primary Schools.
Whilst recognising schools’ focus on core subjects such as Maths, English and Science examples were given of recent Ofsted inspections where the school’s approach to RE had impacted on the overall judgement. ... view the full minutes text for item 2.