Agenda and minutes

Hillingdon Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - Tuesday, 7th June, 2016 7.30 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5 - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Jon Pitt  01895 277655

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


The meeting of the Hillingdon SACRE commenced at 7:30 pm.


Apologies for absence were received from Naseem Bint Amir, Richard Cawley Father Desmond Bannister, Angela Flux, Councillor John Morse and Umesh Sharma.


To Agree the Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 March 2016 pdf icon PDF 118 KB


Matters arising from the meeting held on 8 March 2016


It had not been possible to identify an organisation that would be able to support local RE teachers and it was suggested that this was because RE was seen as being a low priority in relation to school improvement.


Laurie Baker, The Council's Head of School Improvement, suggested that the request for the provision of RE teachers be put to the London Heads of School Improvement.


Resolved: That:


1.    The Head of School Improvement to contact the London Heads of School Improvement on behalf of SACRE and canvass for possible RE support. Details of suggested RE trainers to be provided to SACRE.


Item 2: The Chairman advised that her school, Yeading Juniors, had been shortlisted for a Department for Education Character Education award. It was proposed that the minutes of the previous Hillingdon SACRE meeting that covered a presentation on Character Education given by pupils from the school be used as evidence in support of the application.


Item 5.1: Arrangement for the Hayes Carnival were progressing well and it was requested that Interfaith Network leaflets be provided for distribution at the event.


Item 6: It had been agreed at the March 2016 meeting of Hillingdon SACRE that the June 2016 meeting would be held at Hayes Muslim Centre. This had not been possible because of difficulties in accommodating a group the size of SACRE. Apologies were offered for this and it was hoped that consideration would be given to holding another meeting at the venue in the future.


Resolved That:


1.    The Advisor to SACRE to provide Interfaith Network leaflets for distribution at the Hayes Carnival.


Resolved: That:


1.  The minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2016 be agreed.




Prevent Counter Terrorism Strategy Update


Fiona Gibbs, the London Borough of Hillingdon's Stronger Communities and Prevent Lead gave a presentation on the Prevent Duty and Counter Terrorism work undertaken by the Council and its partners.


The key points of the presentation included the following:


·         The Council had been working on Prevent since 2006/07 when it had become part of the Government's Counter Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST).

·         Prevent was one of four elements of CONTEST, the others being Pursue, Protect and Prepare.

·         Prevent aimed to stop people from being drawn towards supporting terrorism, to address radicalisation and to respond to the ideological challenges presented.

·         The work covered the response to all types of terrorism, from Islamist inspired extremist organisations, to terrorism linked to the far right or domestic terrorism.

·         Work was undertaken to safeguard young people and vulnerable adults to stop them from becoming involved in violence or criminal activity.

·         The Channel Programme was a multi-agency programme, aimed at supporting vulnerable individuals. It was Home Office sponsored and co-ordinated by SO15 Channel Police officers in partnership with the local authority. Most referrals to the programme were of persons under 25, with the majority of these being aged 15 to 19. A number of risk factors were used in order to assess the likelihood of a young person becoming radicalised or involved in terrorism and therefore, what action should be taken.

·         The panel of the Channel Programme met every month. It provided support to individuals and worked closely with the Police and other partners.

·         Each local authority was required to develop a prevent action plan which was specific to addressing local concerns.

·         The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 had placed a statutory on local authorities and other organisations, including schools, to work towards the aims of Prevent.

·         Progress being made on Prevent activities was regularly reported to the Executive Board of the Local Strategic Partnership.

·         The Stronger Communities and Prevent Lead had received Home Office approved training, which enabled her to deliver WRAP workshop training in relation to Prevent. Between 1,500 and 1,600 people had received this training in the last year and it was anticipated that this figure would reach 2,000 by the end of the year.

·         Priorities of the Prevent work within Hillingdon included ensuring that opportunities for radical groups to get a foothold were minimised, the support of vulnerable persons and for partners to work together effectively.

·         Schools were supported in relation to Prevent, including the importance of teaching of moral values and ethics, building respect, the ability to think critically and guidance on how to use the curriculum.

·         School staffwere provided training. This included awareness of Prevent, concerning behaviour to look for amongst their pupils and how to get help if they had any safeguarding concerns.

·         Safety online and awareness of online risks were also an important aspect of Prevent work. This included raising pupil awareness of the issues.

·         It was recognised that it was important to deal with concerns raised sensitively and to identify where the line was likely to be crossed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


Feedback from NASACRE Annual Conference held on 17 May 2016


Duncan Struthers, Advisor to Hillingdon SACRE, provided an overview of the NASACRE Annual Conference, which he had attended with SACRE Member, Naseem Bint Amir on 17 May 2016.


The keynote speakers at this year's event had been the Rt Hon Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss and Professor Adam Dinham. The topics covered, which built upon the themes of last year's conference, included the possible move by the Government towards the creation of nationally agreed syllabus for RE. It was anticipated that SACREs would have a consultation role to play in any creation of a national syllabus and in assisting with its implementation. Baroness Butler-Sloss had said that the teaching of religion, philosophy and ethics should be a statutory legal duty in schools and that a time for reflection should replace the requirement for a daily religious assembly.


There was seen to be an urgent need for a review of the role of SACREs, but this was dependent upon the Government making a decision about creation of a national RE syllabus.


Resolved: That:


1.    The update provided be noted.


HSACRE Annual Report 2015 pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Additional documents:


A draft of the 2015 Hillingdon Sacre Annual Report was presented to Members. It was noted that the production of the report was a statutory requirement.


HSACRE Members were invited to comment on the report and approve it prior to its submission to Councillor David Simmonds, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Education and Children's Services and subsequent submission to NASACRE and the Department for Education.


Resolved: That:


1.    The 2015 HSACRE Annual Report be approved and submitted to NASACRE.


Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 2 November 2016, at 7.30pm. The venue is to be confirmed at tonight's meeting.


The next meeting of Hillingdon SACRE was due to take place on Wednesday 2 November 2016. However, this clashed with All Souls day, an important date in the Christian calendar.


It was agreed that the next meeting of HSACRE would be rearranged to take place at 7:30pm on Thursday 10 November.


Hayes Muslim Centre was put forward as a possible venue for the meeting and it was agreed that this would be confirmed outside the meeting.


Resolved: That:


1.    The date of the next meeting changed. It would now take place on Thursday 10 November.


Any Other Business


Ramadan Guidance


Ramadan guidance had been produced by Hillingdon SACRE and this had been sent to schools in the Borough.


The Muslim representative on HSACRE expressed concern that pupils may try to fast when they would be undertaking strenuous exercise or taking exams.


It was agreed that a meeting should take place between Muslim groups to discuss next year's guidance and that the guidance should be sent out earlier than it had been this year.


Resolved: That:


1.    The 2016 Ramadan guidance be circulated to the HSACRE Members.

2.    Guidance for schools for 2017 Ramadan be agreed by HSACRE and sent out well in advance of Ramadan commencing. A supporting letter for schools to send to parents would also be provided and it was agreed that local imams would write this letter.


Budget Update


Members were advised that the existing HSACRE budget was currently in the process of being transferred from Holy Trinity CE School to Yeading Juniors. This was to reflect the change in chairmanship of HSACRE.


The local authority had requested that the SACRE provide an indicative budget for 2016/17. This would be submitted to the Council in order for it to consider what funding could be provided. The draft budget presented would request £5700 of funding for 2016/17.


Members were concerned that there may be a need for additional resources in the event that HSACRE decided to undertake a review of the Hillingdon Agreed Syllabus. The Advisor confirmed that a contingency for this had been made within the proposed budget and that the costing plan may be amended should there be a need for additional resource.


Resolved: That:


1.    The budget proposals presented be approved and submitted to the Council for consideration.


The Martyrdom of the 5th Guru Arjan Sahib ji


Members were informed that the Hillingdon Sikh Welfare Association would be serving cold drinks to the public in remembrance of the martyrdom of the 5th Guru Arjan Sahib ji. This would take place at Pink City, Coldharbour Lane, Hayes on Sunday 12 June at 11am. All Members of HSACRE were welcome to attend.


Resolved: That:


1.    Details of the event being organised by the Sikh Welfare Association be provided to the clerk for circulation to HSACRE Members.


The meeting of the Hillingdon SACRE closed at 9pm.