Agenda and minutes

Hillingdon Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - Tuesday, 10th March, 2015 7.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01895 250692

No. Item


Presentation to Mike Gettleson


The Worshipful the Mayor of Hillingdon, Councillor Catherine Dann was introduced by Duncan Struthers. The Mayor explained that Mike Gettleson had been a member of SACRE for over 20 years, and that for much of that time he had been the Vice-Chairman. He had played an important role in supporting the work of the committee, setting up and administering the SACRE website, playing an important role in the organisation of SACRE lectures and conferences, as well as being an entirely dependable person, whatever else he was asked to do. He had also welcomed many hundreds of school children to Ruislip United Synagogue. The Mayor thanked Mr Gettleson for his service to the Borough, and presented him with the Mayor's Pin Badge.


Mike Gettleson thanked the Mayor for her kindness, and responded, saying that the work of SACRE had always been a team effort. He looked back fondly on many years of events, and felt pleased that when such a variety of religions assembled, it was the commonalities rather than the differences which came to the fore. He felt that the work of SACRE was very important in recognising the importance of religion, with parts of the media seemingly keen individual's actions on religious beliefs.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 127 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 5 November 2014 were agreed to be accurate.


Matters Arising from the Minutes


Item 67 - NASACRE Conference

Duncan Struthers explained that he had booked himself and Lil Osborn onto the NASACRE conference. If anyone else wished to attend they could contact him.


LST training on Islamic Faith


Duncan Struthers explained that training on the Islamic Faith would be provided as part of the SACRE Lecture. He had asked whether the London School of Theology would be able to provide a course on Islam in a similar format to the 'Walk Through the Bible Course', however, they had said that they couldn't produce something in that format.


Syllabus Review pdf icon PDF 69 KB


The Clerk explained that the local authority was required to convene an Agreed Syllabus Conference (ASC) to review the Borough's agreed syllabus. This conference, to meet statutory requirements, had to be convened before 9 July 2015. It was proposed that the Hillingdon ASC's membership replicated that of the SACRE, if members were willing to be appointed to that conference.


Duncan Struthers explained that the ASC would require a number of meetings if it were to agree to change the syllabus. He was also aware that there was a government review of the Key Stage 4 Religious Education Syllabus due to report in 2017, and so he suggested that a new syllabus ought not to be agreed until after that had been published.


Members discussed whether Humanism ought to be included in the new syllabus, but came to no conclusion. They also felt that it was important that teachers were consulted on what they wanted from the new syllabus. To that end it was agreed that the next SACRE meeting ought to involve teachers, to gain their views, and help members understand the National Curriculum.


Potential SACRE Conference


The Chairman explained that a training session would be held at Holy Trinity Primary School on 23rd April, aimed at Primary School R.E. teachers. It would cover Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and the commonalities between those religions and would be delivered by Fiona Moss, who had previously given excellent training tom some members.


RE Quiz for Primary Schools


The Chairman said that he had discussed this idea with colleagues, and found that many thought it would be too complex to arrange. A themed art competition had been suggested as an alternative. The best entries could then be displayed, possibly at Hayes Carnival. Members agreed that the theme of 'Celebrating Faith' would be appropriate. Anyone interested in helping to arrange the competition was asked to contact the Chairman.


Northwood Holocaust Events for Schools


Duncan Struthers explained that the Northwood Holocaust Memorial Day Events for Schools provided an important insight into religion for many of the Borough's young people. He considered it to be a great learning experience, and suggested that Hillingdon SACRE may wish to make a donation to the event.


Members discussed whether it would be appropriate to give a grant to one religion, whether a precedent would be set, and whether a more formal arrangement for the giving of grants was needed.


Members agreed that a one off donation of £500 would be appropriate, in recognition of the work the event carried out.




Raymond Smith explained that the GSUS Live project would be returning to the Borough in January 2016. It would provide an opportunity for Key Stage Three Pupils to learn about Jesus' teaching on Forgiveness, Fear and Rejection, through a multimedia experience in a mobile classroom. Members of local churches would attend to assist with teaching, but teachers from the schools involved would be expected to lead the sessions. He directed members to the website for further information.


Members asked whether Key Stage Two pupils might also be able to take part. It was confirmed that whilst the course was aimed at Key Stage Three, some younger pupils had previously attended sessions. Schools were to decide whether or not to invite the project to take place in their lessons.




Finance and Budget


The Chairman reported that there was a small surplus in the current year's budget, as some of SACRE's events had yet to take place, and other activities had proven impossible.


Any Other Business


Duncan Struthers invited members to attend a Safety in Faith event at Swakeleys School on 19th March from 12:30pm.


Elenor Paul said that Primary School RE co-ordinators had asked for guidance from SACRE on assessment in the subject.


Amir Ahmed said that it was disappointing that local schools didn't visit local places of worship more often. Lil Osborn said that this might be because larger institutions were better able to deal with school parties and provided better information.


Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on 16th June 2015, at 7.30pm in Committee Room Five.


Members noted that the next meeting would be held on 16th June 2015, at 7.30pm.