Agenda and minutes

Hillingdon Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - Tuesday, 16th June, 2015 7.30 pm

Venue: Yeading Junior School, Carlyon Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB4 0NR

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01895 250692

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence had been received from Naseem Bint Amir, Councillor Keith Burrows, Stephen Horsman, Angela Lount, Daniel Norris, Councillor Susan O'Brien and Jamal Pasha.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 128 KB


The minutes of the meeting were agreed to be accurate.


Election of Chair and Vice-Chair

SACRE's Constitution requires that the Chair and Vice Chair are elected on an annual basis. As the last election was now over a year ago, it is necessary to hold an election. Both the current Chair, Daniel Norris, and Vice Chair, Carole Jones, have indicated that they are willing to continue to serve, if that is the wish of SACRE.


Daniel Norris was proposed as Chairman by Councillor Carol Melvin. This was seconded by Mary Coulthurst and agreed unanimously.


Carole Jones was proposed as Vice-Chairman by Amir Ahmed. This was seconded by Councillor Carol Melvin and agreed unanimously.


Finance Update


Duncan Struthers, Adviser to SACRE, explained that detailed accounts had been prepared for the past financial year. There was a surplus left at the end of the financial year, however, there was still some expenditure to be taken from that surplus, as some planned events had been delayed. He and the Vice Chairman thanked Holy Trinity School for managing SACRE's budgets so carefully.


Training Report


Ainsley Gilbert, Clerk to SACRE, explained that a training session had been held on 'Teaching the Three Religions' on 23 April 2015. The course had been very well received by those attending. Members noted the very positive feedback received, and suggested that further courses be offered. Members felt however that these courses ought to be held at different locations to encourage teachers from those areas to attend. They also felt that better advertisement of the courses ought to be planned. There were 23 teachers at the course from 16 different schools at the event.


NASACRE Meeting Update


Duncan Struthers, Adviser to SACRE, explained that he and Lil Osborn had attended the NASACRE conference. The meeting had discussed the potential for a national R.E. Syllabus, and potential roles for SACREs if this were introduced. Members noted that the requirements for collective worship might well also be changed, and that it was worrying that SACREs might continue to meet without a properly defined role.


Hayes Carnival


Duncan Struthers, Adviser to SACRE, explained that there would be a tent at Hayes Carnival, hosted by Hillingdon Interfaith Network (HIfN), but also displaying the artwork produced as part of SACRE's 'Celebrating Faith' Competition.


SACRE Adviser's Report

SACRE members are asked to note that, further to the report discussed at the previous meeting, a meeting of the Agreed Syllabus Conference, consisting of all members of SACRE, will take place following the completion of ordinary SACRE business. 


Duncan Struthers, Adviser to SACRE, explained that an Interfaith Event would be held on 2 July at Swakeleys School for Girls from 12pm. Schools had been asked to send students from a wide range of backgrounds and faiths to participate in the afternoon's discussions. At Duncan Struthers request, the meeting agreed that he write to schools about the importance of the termly Secondary Heads of R.E. meetings.


He also explained that HSACRE's Ramadan guidelines had been updated and distributed to schools. Members discussed the flexibility in requirements which Islamic Leaders were able to allow in order to ensure that children's education and health were not harmed by observance. Amir Ahmed emphasised the importance of involving families and community leaders in decisions about fasting and prayers, but noted that the purpose of these requirements was to help people to worship, rather than to be a burden.


The meeting of HSACRE ended at 8.15pm.


The Approach to the Review of the Syllabus pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Additional documents:


The meeting of the Agreed Syllabus Conference began at 8.15pm.


Members discussed the report, making points about the need for the questionnaire to be revised, the importance of getting as much evidence as possible from schools, an electronic version of the survey being made available and the explicit inclusion of Humanism in the syllabus, with points being made both for and against its inclusion.


It was resolved that -

a)    Members submit their comments on what the survey ought to contain by email.

b)    The Chair, Vice Chair and Adviser meet to redraft the questionnaire.


The meeting of the Agreed Syllabus Conference closed at 8.45pm.