Agenda and draft minutes

Rutland SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) - Tuesday, 10th July, 2018 4.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham

Contact: Kit Silcock  01572 720976

No. Item


A round of introductions took place for the benefit of Reverend James McWhirter from the Church of England who had an interest in SACRE and was observing the meeting.




To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Rutland SACRE held on 17 April 2018 (previously circulated).


The record of the meeting of the Rutland Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) held on 17 April 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Matters Arising

SACRE actions from the meeting held on 17 April 2018.


Minute Reference:


Person Responsible


The Chair would consider the future of the ‘Opening Prayer’ agenda item outside of the meeting

Miss Waller

775 vi.

Mrs Fitton would look to find how many Rutland schools would be attending the launch on May 3rd.

Mrs Fitton

775 vii.

Mrs Fitton and Ms Curtis would look into whether an event for headteachers and governors would be beneficial, giving information as to how they can plan for the new syllabus, how to use the new documents etc.

Mrs Fitton/Ms Curtis

775 viii.

Mr Toner would ask his students as to whether any of them would be able to volunteer to speak at the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel regarding Religious Education.

Mr Toner


The Rutland SACRE Annual Report would go to the next Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel.

Mr Silcock

777 ii.

Mrs Fitton would send the final agreed syllabus documents to Mr Silcock towards the end of the month to include on the RCC SACRE webpage.

Mrs Fitton/Mr Silcock

778 iv.

The Chair would draft a letter to Ofsted, explaining that the Rutland SACRE had done a review of Ofsted Inspections and would ask if Ofsted had plans to include Religious Education in future reports. The Chair would circulate the draft letter to the group for comment.

Miss Waller

778 v.

Mrs Fitton would share the draft letter with other SACREs for backing.

Mrs Fitton

779 iii.

The Chair and Mrs Stephenson would re-work the development plan outside of the meeting.

Miss Waller/Mrs Stephenson


Mrs Fitton and Ms Curtis would discuss ways to get more schools involved with the network meetings

Mrs Fitton/Ms Curtis






      i.        Emails were sent out from the Chair regarding consultation on the future of the ‘Opening Prayer’. However Julia Ewans was not included in these emails. It would be made sure that all members of SACRE were included in emails between the group.

    ii.        5 schools in Rutland attended the Agreed Syllabus launch on 3 May 2018.

   iii.        Mrs Fitton and Ms Curtis have booked training in partnership with the Rutland Teaching School Alliance. A conference has also been set up to take place on 1 May 2019 at Greetham Valley Golf Club, based around RE within the wider curriculum.

   iv.        Due to the Children and Young People Scrutiny Panel falling on the exam period, Mr Toner was unable to get students to attend the meeting to share thoughts on Religious Education. The Chair noted that at the Scrutiny Panel, it was suggested that students could send their thoughts by video which could be played to the Panel next year, as well as having students speak in person. Julia Eames suggested that media studies students could be tasked with the project. This would be further discussed at the October SACRE meeting.

    v.        The new agreed syllabus was currently on the Rutland County Council website and can be found using the following link: Mrs Fitton would send amendments for the agreed syllabus through to Mr Silcock to publish on the website.

   vi.        Mrs Fitton had a meeting pencilled in with Ofsted in August regarding religious education and finding out what their views were on the matter. The letter from Rutland SACRE to Ofsted regarding Religious Education in Ofsted reports would be delayed until after the meeting.

  vii.        More schools were now attending the Network Meetings, however even more would be welcome.



Development Plan pdf icon PDF 55 KB

All to discuss the latest version of the Development Plan


      i.        The Chair and Mrs Lucy Stephenson had made alterations to the Development Plan. A copy of which was included within the agenda.

    ii.        In an email to the Chair, Mrs Stephenson had suggested it would be worth including an aim to get Ofsted to ensure they comment explicitly on Religious Education within their reports. There was a need to make sure the subject was treated with the time that it deserved.

   iii.        Mr Silcock would look into contacting the Baptist Church, Quakers, and Methodist Church in regards to joining SACRE.

   iv.        The Chair had reached out to the Plymouth Brethren, however had no response back.

    v.        Mrs Fitton would reach out to a shop in Whissendine that was run by a Hindu family to see if they knew of anyone that would be interested in joining SACRE.

   vi.        Ms Curtis noted a need to extend the focus of network meetings to the Secondary schools as well. However, the Secondary school network meetings would need to be done in the early evening after school.

  vii.        Ms Curtis and Mrs Fitton noted that there was a good speech made by Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector. The speech mentions the benefits of Religious Education as a subject. The speech in full can be found using the following link:


Below is the specific segment on Religious Education:


“Religious education can contribute a great deal to mutual understanding in a multi-ethnic state. And while it can be quite straightforward to cover the factual information about the rituals and observances and meeting places of different faiths, there is far more that it can do. During my time at Ofqual, the exam regulator, we worked on the new religious studies GCSE, which for the first time is requiring students to study two religions. This means that they study at least one that is not their own, so they arrive at some understanding of the differences between faiths. And religious education also has the potential to develop children’s understanding of the diversity that often exists within as well as between faiths: after all, most faiths actually encompass a spectrum of views, from liberal to conservative.


Religious education done well helps children understand where values overlap and where they diverge, and hence the basis for the tensions that can arise between and sometimes even within faiths. It can help them understand the tensions that can arise between faith and other legally established rights, such as the rights of women and rights relating to sexuality. And done well it allows children to understand how their own faith relates to the wider world, both in terms of attitudes and the prevailing law. Again, this is not about indoctrination, rather about making sure that young people have the knowledge to make their own informed choices.”


viii.        Due to the cost of coaches it was difficult for schools to organise trips to different places of interest.

   ix.        It was suggested that people could travel to schools and do virtual  ...  view the full minutes text for item 139.


Agreed Syllabus Update

To receive an update from Mrs Amanda Fitton regarding the Agreed Syllabus.


      i.        Mrs Fitton noted that the launch of the Agreed Syllabus had been successful, and had been agreed across the counties involved.

    ii.        The Chair noted her hope that the Deanery Synod would consider the new syllabus, and would look at the Rutland SACRE Annual Report which is something they have not done before. This would perhaps be done in January 2019.




To receive an update from Mrs Amanda Fitton regarding the National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (NASACRE).



Mrs Fitton noted that the National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (NASACRE) Conference had gone well with two very good speakers. There was a vote to increase the cost of membership of NASACRE to £105.



Training in Rutland

Mrs Amanda Fitton to lead discussion.


This item was discussed in ‘Matters Arising’.


Network Meetings

Mrs Amanda Fitton to lead the discussion.


This item was discussed in ‘Matters Arising’.



All to discuss the Short Ofsted Inspection report for St Mary and St John CofE VA Primary School.


During discussion the following points were noted:


      i.        The group were pleased to see mention of Religion and faith within the report.

    ii.        The Chair would draft a letter to Fiona Wilce, headteacher at the primary school and would pass on to Mr Silcock to send out.



To receive any other items of urgent business which have been previously notified to the person presiding.


There was no other urgent business.



Tuesday 30 October 2018 at 4.30pm


Tuesday 30 October 2018 at 4.30pm in the Council Chamber, RCC.