Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Kate Griffiths  Committee Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Substitutions


In the absence of a Chairman Nicola Jones welcomed everyone to the meeting. This was the first formal SACRE meeting since the County Council elections in May so the new County Councillors were welcomed to their first SACRE meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from Charlotte Betteridge, Ellie Hill, Duncan Hutchinson, Christine Parker, Yvonne Stollard and Tasnim Khawaja.


Both Jatinderpal Loyal and Matt Jenkins gave apologies that they would need to leave the meeting around 3.15pm.




To elect a Chairman.


County Councillor Mel Allcott was nominated for Chairman. This was agreed by attending members of SACRE.



To appoint a Vice Chairman.


County Councillor Mel Allcott then nominated County Councillor Matt Jenkins as Vice Chairman.


This was seconded by Jatinderpal Loyal and agreed by the attending members of SACRE.


Confirmation of the Minutes pdf icon PDF 227 KB


The minutes of the last meeting were agreed to be an accurate record and would be signed by the Chairman


Support for Teachers

·        Conferences – Primary and Secondary

To discuss the options for summer conferences 2022

·        Updates from Diocese and Local Groups

·        Excellent RE research project


Stephen Pett updated SACRE on the Primary conference which took place in the summer. 109 people had attended and had made very positive comments on the event.


On-line attendance had also been good with a record number of attendees for the joint event with Herefordshire. It was felt that on-line events were easy to arrange due to no travelling or difficulties finding suitable venues.


There were 22 attendees for the secondary conference and 90% of those who attended had rated the event as good.


SACRE were informed of a selection of topics for the proposed primary conference on 22 June 2022, to support classroom teachers to keep up to date with current thinking in RE. Comments were invited from SACRE on this point.


A response was put forward that Primary and Secondary Teachers were struggling with the subject of religion with some teachers discussing culture and tradition rather than faith. It was felt that the faith content of the course taught needed to be checked through before being delivered and if questions were raised by teachers, they should know who was available to help them.


Mel Allcott requested Stephen Pett put a programme together for the spring meeting. Stephen agreed to proceed with the programme and circulate information through the bulletin and contacts and would confirm the final programme.


It was agreed that people had mixed feelings about face to face or on-line events as there was still some anxiety about attending events in person. It was suggested that hybrid meetings could be an option especially for teachers who were unable to get time out of class to attend in person.


There was consensus from SACRE members that hybrid meetings should be considered, and Stephen agreed he would ask for feedback on this when the programme was circulated, with any responses shared with SACRE. 


Jatinderpal Loyal commented that Rev Catherine Lack was doing work on scriptural reading and would pick up discussions on the A level syllabus outside of the meeting.


Stephen confirmed that Catherine Atkinson at Rivers C of E Academy trust had set up 3 dates for the Rivers Teaching Alliance which were 14 October 2020, 17 March 2022 and 9 June 2022. 


RESOLVED that SACRE receive an update on hybrid meetings at the next meeting.



Agreed Syllabus Survey

To discuss and agree the proposed survey to monitor the impact of the 2020 agreed syllabus.


Stephen Pett confirmed this was a follow up survey and SACRE members were asked to go through it and feedback any comments.


Jatinder Loyal suggested that to increase response rates the survey could circulated to attendees from the conference. Stephen Pett agreed to check on GDPR status to see if this was possible and consider the best way to circulate the survey.


RESOLVED: that SACRE agreed to feed back with suggestions and comments on the survey.








National Exam Data

To receive an analysis from Chris Giles.



SACRE members were shown some information about GCSE and A level exam results. The information was discussed; it was recognised that with exams cancelled due to COVID it was not possible to have more detailed information broken down by school, as would normally be available.


The numbers taking RE courses appeared to be going down in Worcestershire but the group agreed this was not surprising. Since changes to the syllabus were introduced in 2016, most secondary schools had religious studies as an option at GCSE level.


It was believed that in regard to options, in Worcestershire there was a big push on mainstream subjects but little emphasis on religious education.


The Teacher representative felt that RE teachers needed to articulate how RE linked to careers as well as linking with other A levels and GCSEs. There was some good information available on-line which could be used at parent’s evenings to promote RE.


When asked for confirmation on who decided on the amount of RE taught in a school and if there were rules and regulations for the amount of RE taught in schools it was confirmed that the Department of Education was responsible and that all schools should have RE as a core subject. Head Teachers were responsible for ensuring the legal obligation for RE was fulfilled.


Members believed that this was something that SACRE should be chasing.


RESOLVED: that SACRE would discuss this further at the next meeting.


School Workforce Data

To review how much RE is taught in Worcestershire secondary schools.



Stephen Pett confirmed that every year schools were required to complete the census and report the findings to the Department of Education who then extracted the data about what schools were doing around religious education.


SACRE had concerns that schools were not giving enough time to completing the census and not all were doing it every year. There were also difficulties with the responses as some schools put religious education under a different name such as philosophy. It was suggested that SACRE should investigate this.


There were discussions from the group as to how much SACRE could do as it was important to maintain a good working relationship with schools. In previous years some schools had been notified of their legal obligation by letter and that training was available if required.


It was suggested that schools could be reminded that not providing sufficient RE would affect Ofsted grades.


Stephen Pett confirmed there was a data study being carried out at King’s College London for NASACRE on the perception of religion and world views which would include information on parental opinions of RE. A national update was available and the link would be circulated to SACRE members.


It was agreed that further work should be done on the available data and discussed at the next meeting.





a)     Agreed that further work was needed to identify which schools are not prioritising religious education; and


b)    Should discuss at the next meeting what further action could be taken to encourage these schools to provide more religious education.









Applying for Westhill/NASACRE Award

To hear about the requirements from Chris Giles and discuss a possible project.




It was confirmed that some SACREs had put together proposals to apply for a grant, through Westhill Trust, to support projects.


SP confirmed £4,000 was available until the end of March 2022 and SACRE members were asked to consider projects they would want to support to enable a bid to be put forward.




a)     Provide suggestions for projects to support through this grant; and

b)    To bring this back to the next meeting for further discussion.




National news update

To receive an update from Stephen Pett.


The update included information on Interfaith Week and SACRE members were encouraged to access the link on the circulated agenda papers to find out more.


It was requested that a version of the news update should be provided for schools.


RESOLVED: that SACRE provide a version of the national news update for schools.




Feedback from Members pdf icon PDF 183 KB


Yvonne Stallard’s update was read to the group and would be circulated with the minutes.


Future Meeting Dates

Dates for 2022


·       Thursday 10 February

·       Wednesday 8 June

·       Tuesday 11 October


All at 2pm at County Hall