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Apologies were received from Peter Martin (Chair, representing the Teacher Associations), Dan Dennis (representing the Higher Education Sector), Julie Gordon (representing the Teacher Associations), County Councillor Stewart Jones (representing Lancashire County Council), Noah Katz (representing Judaism), Jaspal Kooner (representing Sikhism), Peter Lumsden (representing Building Bridges Burnley), Ben McMullen, (representing the Roman Catholic Church), County Councillor Yousuf Motala (representing Lancashire County Council), Joan E O'Rourke (representing the Church of England), Harsha Shukla (representing Hinduism), and Moulana Adil Tagari (representing Islam).
Ian Watkinson (representing the Teacher Associations) attended on behalf of Julie Gordon.
It was noted that the meeting was inquorate. Members in attendance agreed to discuss the agenda items informally and that any decisions required would be ratified by e-mail as appropriate.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 November 2023 were approved as an accurate record.
Alison Lloyd, School Improvement Service, presented the SACRE Officer's report which included the SACRE Spring Newsletter. The following key points were covered in the report:
· Following an analysis of the primary RE survey, nine schools which judged their practice in RE to require improvement had been offered free 1:1 training from a consultant.
· In the RE survey 12 schools judged the quality of education in RE at their school to be outstanding. Letters had been sent to each school asking them to share their good practice. A range of options were offered, e.g. invite SACRE members to visit, attend a SACRE meeting or share resources via the website or newsletter. So far, two schools had invited SACRE representatives to visit their school.
Alison Lloyd agreed to speak to the headteachers at St Stephens Primary School, Preston and St Stephens Primary School, Banks to agree the following visits:
· St Stephens, Preston, 27 March 2024 – John Wilson and Kathleen Cooper
· St Stephens, Banks 13 or 14 March 2024 – John Wilson, Kathleen Cooper, Aruna Patel
· Consultants continued to support individual schools, clusters and trainee teachers, e.g. through SCITT, WRIST, and Mossgate.
· The spring term newsletter was circulated electronically w/c 29 January.
· Dr Malcolm Craig agreed to send details to Alison Lloyd in relation to national bursaries.
· Wigan Council had now bought into the Lancashire Agreed Syllabus. Training was provided for all Wigan schools on 24 January. Other authorities which buy fully into Lancashire's RE resources are St Helens, Warrington, and Halton.
· Free termly network meetings continue. They were held in three locations in November and are now advertised for 6 and 7 March. This term consultants will be sharing creative approaches to the teaching of RE.
· The Annual Report was approved by the Quality and Standards Sub-group and submitted to the Department for Education and NASACRE following the meeting. It is accessible via the NASACRE website and RE website.
· Two training sessions have been advertised for 8 July. They will focus on assessment and moderation in RE. Teachers will be invited to bring samples of books for pupils in Y6 and Y2. The courses are via Lancashire Professional Development Service.
· The first steps are being taken by the SACRE Officer and consultants to review the syllabus in line with a religion and worldviews approach. This is informed by the National Content Standard, recently released by the RE Council. The local authority officer suggests that an Agreed Syllabus Conference is convened in September so that progress can be monitored in termly intervals prior to launch in 2026. This is a huge piece of work which will take up most of the consultants' time next year.
· As part of the work towards the new syllabus it would be useful to create a Lancashire directory of faith organisations and groups. It was hoped that SACRE members can help with this.
· The RE Hub website has been developed extensively during the last few months. It acts as a 'one stop shop' for all things - ... view the full minutes text for item 3.
It was noted that the National Content Standard was recently released by the RE council. This document set out a National Content Standard for the subject within the context of National Plan for RE which would embed the standard into the planning and delivery of the subject in England.
The document drew on The Religious Education Council of England and Wales Religion and Worldviews in the Classroom project, as well as other relevant national publications from the last 5 years. The draft Resource, published by the RE Council's project, proposed a standard called a National Entitlement Statement. The document was set out in the style of the National Curriculum and outlined how a National Content Standard for the subject might apply in different types of school.
It was noted that an Agreed Syllabus Conference would be convened in the Autumn.
Members' News (including Feedback from Training and Development Undertaken)
Members recommended that the number of meetings scheduled for SACRE in 2024 be reduced from five to four, with the September QSS meeting being considered for removal from future calendar of meetings.
Alison Lloyd reported on her attendance at the NASACRE virtual Training module 'How may SACREs effectively monitor schools?'
Keith Pennington, representing Lancashire Humanists –
· reported that he was in conversation with UCLAN exploring the possibility of SACRE being able to use their place of worship for a venue at which to hold a future SACRE Meeting.
· Sought clarification on progress of upgrading the Humanist Observer Status on SACRE.
Kathleen Cooper, representing the Lancashire Association of School Governing Bodies, reported on World Prayer Day which had recently taken place.
Dr Malcolm Craig presented a paper detailing the Bahá’i Faith's comments following a debate in the House of Lords on Religious Education in schools.
The correspondence which had been circulated since the last meeting was noted.
Date of Next Meeting
The next scheduled meeting of the SACRE will be held at 10.00am on Monday 22 April 2024, in Committee Room C - The Duke of Lancaster Room at County Hall, Preston.
It was noted that the next meeting of the Lancashire SACRE would be held at 10am on Monday 22 April 2024 in Committee Room 'C' - The Duke of Lancaster Room, County Hall, Preston.