Agenda and draft minutes

Rutland SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) - Tuesday, 30th October, 2018 4.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Catmose, Oakham

Contact: Kit Silcock  01572 720976

No. Item




Apologies were received from Mr Menzies and Mr Toner.



To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Rutland SACRE held on 10 July 2018 (previously circulated).


The record of the meeting of the Rutland Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) held on 10 July 2018 was confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.




Person Responsible

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.


Mrs Fitton would send amendments for the agreed syllabus through to Mr Silcock to publish on the website.


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.


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


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.


The Chair asked that members bring back further ideas for the development plan for the next meeting in October.


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




·         Mrs Fitton had approached Harington school about making a video showcasing children who were studying RE. Ms Walker felt that primary age children would also be very adept at making a video and that additionally this activity would hit the criteria for those schools undertaking the IT Quality Mark.

·         The video would be discussed at the next network meeting.

·         Amendments to the syllabus were still going through and would be sent to Mr Silcock as soon as possible.

·         Mrs Fitton had spoken to OFSTED over the Summer about whether they would comment explicitly on Religious Education in their reports and was told that they were awaiting recommendations from the RE Council.

·         Members felt that including RE as part of SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) instead of explicit comment on RE was almost dumbing down the subject.

·         The Quakers and Methodist churches had been contacted by Mr Silcock who was waiting to receive the names of their nominated people to attend SACRE.

·         The Chair, on behalf of SACRE, had sent a letter to Mrs Wilce, Headteacher of St Mary and St John CEVA School, North Luffenham congratulating the school on their Ofsted report and had received a thank you note in return.





1.    Mrs Fitton and Ms Walker to invite Harington School to the network meeting in December to discuss making a video to accompany the Annual Report.

2.    Mrs Fitton to send amendments to the agreed syllabus through to Mr Silcock to publish on the website.

3.    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.





All to discuss the latest version of the Development Plan.


During discussion the following points were noted:


·         Mrs Curtis confirmed that funding for SACRE meetings came from her budget and therefore this item could be removed from the Rutland SACRE development plan.

·         NASCRE had included in their bulletin a request for information on how SACRE was funded so that they could build a national picture. Mrs Curtis agreed to complete the questionnaire on this information for Rutland.

·         Members commented that they would like to receive a copy of the quarterly NASCRE bulletin.

·         In order to monitor effectiveness of the syllabus there needed to be buy-in from all schools which was something that the Network meeting could address.

·         Ms Cahn advised members that her synagogue, the Beth Shalom Reform Synagogue in Cambridge offered a wide programme of activities for school children and encouraged visits. If the cost of transport was an issue for schools then members of the synagogue were happy to go out to schools and requested only that their travel costs were covered.

·         Members felt it was important that those who came into schools to talk about their faiths had had experience, or training, in engaging with children of different ages so that it was a positive experience for all those involved. It would be useful for members to have recommendations from each other for speakers. 

·         For certain religions there was a lack of individuals available to come out and speak to schools.

·         Members discussed whether a review of collective worship should be put back on the Development Plan to look at the quality of that worship, the access that teachers had to appropriate training and any networks that were available to share ideas.





1.    Mr Silcock would in future circulate the NASCRE bulletin to all SACRE members.

2.    Mrs Curtis would complete the NASCRE funding questionnaire on behalf of Rutland SACRE

3.    Mrs Fitton would ask for recommendations for speakers at the next network meeting and would slowly build up a database of effective speakers and the schools that they had visited.

4.    A review of collective worship would be included on next year’s development plan.




During discussion the following points were noted:


·         Members welcomed recommendation nine of the report and felt that it would be a very positive development if Religious Education (RE) was explicitly mentioned in Ofsted reports.

·         Both Maths and English skills could be used and enhanced in the study of RE.

·         RE gave pupils a chance to access art and creative writing as well as utilising their comprehension and interpretation skills.

·         The change of name to RE and World Views was a positive step as it would make clear that the subject was not just about Christian theology.

·         Many teachers mistakenly felt that teaching RE required a depth of knowledge that they did not possess.

·         Teachers were afraid of ‘getting it wrong’ when teaching RE and did not want to cause offence to pupils or their parents.

·         In order to reduce the number of parents withdrawing their children from RE lessons, schools needed to make parents aware that lessons were about education and not indoctrination.

·         There was no requirement of schools to report the number of withdrawals from both RE lessons and collective worship however it would be interesting to collect this data to support the work of SACRE.

·         Members questioned how far the report and its recommendations would reach and felt that a letter to the Secretary of State for Education should be drafted to promote the report and the importance of RE as a subject in schools.




·         Miss Waller and Mrs Fitton would create an audit template for withdrawals from RE lessons and collective worship. This would be shared and discussed with Ms Walker and Mrs Davis.

·         Mr Silcock to table withdrawals as an agenda item for the next SACRE meeting.

·         Miss Waller would write a letter to the Secretary of State for Education on behalf of the SACRE board.





To receive information regarding the RE Conference from Amanda Fitton.


During discussion the following points were noted:


·         The theme of the conference would be RE through the wider curriculum and would look at RE and the foundation subjects, improving teaching and how RE could be accessed and enhanced through the wider curriculum.

·         Local schools would also be involved and would hopefully take part in a video which would then become part of the annual report.

·         A calendar date would be sent to schools and bookings for the conference would be taken after Christmas.




1.    Mrs Fitton would send a save the date to schools and promote the event at the network meeting.



·         Agreed Syllabus


·         NASACRE


·         St George’s Barracks




During discussion the following points were noted:


Agreed Syllabus

·         Members were made aware of an email from the Director of Education for the Peterborough Diocese which had been sent to schools urging them to allocate at least 60% of their RE curriculum to Christianity.

·         Controlled schools need only allocate 50% of their RE curriculum to Christianity and if a school was voluntary aided then it was up to the Governors not the diocese to decide what was taught.


St George’s Barracks

·         The current view was that rather than having any faith specific building the proposed new development should have a public building for any faiths to use for faith purposes within it. The Church of England has said that there was no need for a new church as there were two existing ones within walking distance of the new development.



·         Students thoughts on Religious Education – Discussion regarding students thoughts on religious education being brought to a future Scrutiny Panel

·         Prevent Scheme




·         Mr Silcock would contact John Morley, Head of Adult Services and Principal Social Worker, to arrange a PREVENT presentation for SACRE.




There was no other urgent business.




Tuesday 15 January 2019 at 4.30pm in the Council Chamber, RCC.





The Chair declared the meeting closed at 6.00pm.