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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room Council Offices Market Street Newbury. View directions

Contact: Jo Watt, Appeals Officer 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To sign and approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of SACRE held on 28th February 2017.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 28th February 2017 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chairman, subect to the correction of the typing error in the first paragraph of page 6.


Matters arising from the Minutes


The Committee noted that as no Group A representatives were present, the meeting was not quorate.


The Committee agreed to consider the rules of quorum at the next meeting and if necessary amend the current Constitution to ensure the Committee could meet the quorum rules more easily.


Action – Jo Watt to add the review of the quorum rules to the agenda for the next meeting.


Item 19, page 6 – Network meeting

Alison Harris confirmed that the next West Berkshire network meeting would take place on 1st November 2017 from 4.00 pm – 5.30 pm at Shaw House in Newbury. The Committee noted that the next West Berkshire SACRE meeting would take place on 7th November 2017 and could therefore discuss any actions from the network meeting.


Item 21, page 6 – Church of England representatives

Robin Sharples and Mary Harwood confirmed that they had spoken to the Area Deans for West Berkshire (Newbury and Bradfield Deaneries) regarding new Church of England representatives but they had not been successful.


Robin Sharples said he would raise the issue with other advisors for West Berkshire. In addition, Robin suggested that the need for additional Church of England representatives could also be raised during visits to Church Schools and local congregations ahead of ‘Education Sunday’ on Sunday 10th September 2017.


Item 24 – page 8 – Budget

Keith Harvey reported that he had not yet had the chance to investigate the possibility of the ‘RE trails’ resource being copied to the Hub website. Keith said he would report back when he had done so.


Jo Watt reported that she had completed the following actions from the last meeting:


·         Amended the West Berkshire SACRE constitution in terms of membership.

·         Formally appointed Clare Nolan as a union representative (NUT).

·         Written to David Mackay to advise him that his membership had ceased.

·         Added the Discovery module to the agenda for 27th June 2017.

·         Contacted Governor Support regarding publicising ‘Crossing the Bridges’.


Councillor Bale said that she had not seen anything on ‘Crossing the Bridges’ on the Governor Support  newsletter. Action – Jo Watt to check that the item was publicised.


Update on membership


The Committee gave consideration to the current membership situation and noted the following:

·         Maria Pratico (Group b representative) had not attended a meeting for some time. The Committee noted that under Section 2 (Term of Office) of the West Berkshire SACRE constitution, it was stated that ‘any member who fails to attend three consecutive ordinary meetings of the SACRE other than for a reason approved by SACRE shall cease to be a member’. Action – Jo Watt to write to Maria Pratico regarding her membership.

·         Keith Harvey reported that those parents who may have been interested in representing the Hindu and Muslim faiths were no longer interested. Keith said he would speak to the parents again in a year’s time.

·         Jo Watt said she would speak to Rachel Craggs, Policy Officer at West Berkshire Council who had links with the local Mosque to see if they might be interested in filling the Muslim faith representative role. Jo reported that Waheeda Soomro, from the West Berkshire Minority Ethnic Forum might also be able to make some suggestions in terms of contacts. Action – Jo Watt to speak to Rachel Craggs and Waheeda Soomro.

·         Mary Harwood said she would talk to Reverend David McLeod from Greenham as he might be also be able to help with suggestion for Muslim faith representatives.


Update on the Discovery Scheme of work


Alison Harris provided an update on the Discovery Scheme of Work and the committee noted the following points:

·         Most schools in West Berkshire had signed up to the Discovery Scheme of Work.

·         The scheme had been updated and revamped and now included three new Church of England sections, a Buddhist unit for year 4 and the Early Years section had been revisited and enhanced.

·         There were now two folders for Primary Schools (Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2) and a folder for Nursery schools.

·         Every school that originally bought into the scheme would receive an email with a free download to the updated versions of the scheme.

·         The scheme included a ‘distancing tool’ for teachers in the form of toy owls. The owls would allow teachers time to go away an find out the answers to questions they may not know immediately. The owl character would provide consistency throughout the scheme and were all given names related to wisdom meanings.

·         The scheme had been very well received in other areas such as Wokingham.

·         The Committee congratulated Alison and the team for the work that that had gone into the amended version of the scheme and agreed that it looked very impressive.


Agreed Syllabus Conference pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Alison Harris to provide an update on the Agreed Syllabus Conference and to explain the actions required from the West Berkshire SACRE.

Additional documents:


Alison Harris provided an update on the Agreed Syllabus Conference and the Committee noted the following:

·         Robin Sharples and Bernard Eggleton would attend the next Hub meeting on Tuesday 12th September 2017 (5.45 -7.00 pm).

·         The members of the West Berkshire SACRE felt that they were happy with the syllabus in its current format and didn’t wish to recommend any changes. As there had been some major changes at the last review five years ago, it was felt the current syllabus was fit for purpose and was being delivered well in the schools. The Committee agreed that it would have been good for Clare Nolan to have been able to comment in her role as RE teacher.

Actions – Jo Watt to fill in the Consultation document and return it on behalf of the West Berkshire SACRE.

Jo  Watt to invite Clare Nolan to attend the evening conference on 28th September 2017 (6.30-9 pm at the Holiday Inn, Winnersh) which would cover the Agreed Syllabus Review. This would give Clare a chance to be involved in the review if she wished to be.

·         The Committee noted that the West Berkshire SACRE would have 4 paid for places at the Conference on 28th September 2017. The evening would include a light supper. In addition to inviting Clare Nolan to attend, the Keith Harvey, Mary Harwood and Robin Sharples said they would attend. Action – Jo Watt to complete the reply slip for the conference and return it.

·         The Committee noted that the syllabus review consultation had been sent to all school and faith group contacts held by the Hub.

·         The Committee noted the following timescales in the process:

-        Draft revisions would be considered at the autumn meeting of SACRE (7th November 2017)

-        Final consultation would take place in the second half of the Spring Term 2018.

-        The Revised Syllabus launch event would take place on 9th July 2018.

·         Councillor Pamela Bale said she had been unable to find the current Agreed Syllabus on the West Berkshire Council website. Action – Jo Watt to contact Sharon Goddard regarding the SACRE webpage.


Any Other Business

For the Committee to give consideration to:


·         The Pan Berkshire SACRE Hub Annual Religious Education Conference on 28th September 2017 at the Holiday Inn, Winnersh.


·         The Pan Berkshire SACRE Hub Agreed Syllabus Review, Faith, Religion and Belief Group Consultation Event on Wednesday 4th October 2017 at Wokingham Borough Council.


·         The ‘Places of Worship Directory 2017’ and how to ensure the information is disseminated to West Berkshire schools.


·         Networks


The Committee considered the following items of Any Other Business:

·         The Committee asked that the ‘Places of Worship Directory 2017’ be sent to all West Berkshire School Headteachers and Offices by email. Action – Jo Watt to email this out.

·         Robin Sharples said that he would add the directory to the Diocese website. Action – Jo Watt to remind Robin to do this.

·         The Committee noted that an organisation called ‘COINS’ (Christian Outreach in Newbury Schools) had been visiting schools in Newbury and other parts of West Berkshire to deliver assemblies and talk to the children. Mary Harwood and Keith Harvey both said the service provided by COINS was high quality. In order for the West Berkshire SACRE to find out more about COINS it was suggested that they be invited to a meeting to give a presentation. Similarly, the Committee agreed that it would be helpful to invite Anne Andrews from the Oxford Diocese to attend SACRE to give a presentation. Action – Jo Watt to invite representatives from COINS and Anne Andrews from the Oxford Diocese to attend a future meeting of SACRE.