Agenda and draft minutes

Hillingdon Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - Tuesday, 21st November, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 6 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Rebecca Reid - Email:  rreid@hillingdon.gov.uk  Please enter via main reception and visit the security desk to sign-in and collect a visitors pass. You will then be directed to the Committee Room.

Items
No. Item

13.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor June Nelson, and Balmukund Prasad Joshi (BP Joshi).

 

14.

Membership pdf icon PDF 129 KB

-       HSACRE Appointments (Verbal)

-       Audit of HSACRE Members

-       Updated Draft Constitution for Discussion

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Hillingdon SACRE Members welcomed new Group B Member, Tim Wright, and new Group C Member, Ria Searle.

 

Members heard from the HSACRE Advisor that an audit of members had been created for publishing on the Hillingdon Council website. This aim was to improve transparency and efficiency of clarifying on the website which faith groups were being represented by Members. This would make recognising when the quorate requirement was met more clearly identifiable on the website. The HSACRE Advisor asked of Members to complete the audit before the end of December. Members agreed.

 

ACTION: Clerk to email audit to members.

ACTION: Members submit details to Clerk by the end of December.

ACTION: Clerk to forward audit to Advisor and update website accordingly.

 

Attention was drawn to an updated draft HSACRE Constitution for discussion and approval by Members.

 

In the draft Constitution, the HSACRE Advisor proposed pushing to expand the current number of memberships in Group A from 8 Members to 10 Members to allow for more variants of belief in the same faith group. Widening membership in Group A would offer scope for greater flexibility in the future.

 

Similarly, the HSACRE Advisor proposed raising the current number of faith representatives in Group C from 3 Members to 6 Members, with a view to broaden the number of faiths representing Hillingdon Schools in the Borough.

 

A co-option suggestion was made to the HSACRE Constitution, where SACRE had the power to co-opt members onto any committee for a specific action and time, who could add specialist knowledge to particular matters pertaining to HSACRE.

 

In terms of clerking Hillingdon SACRE, questions were raised about the wording of a Hackney SACRE Clerk and the Clerk being provided by Southwark Council.

 

This was, however, clarified as a typographical error and that the wording would be replaced to reflect that a Clerk would be provided by Hillingdon Council, through Democratic Services, for Hillingdon SACRE.

 

Members approved the draft HSACRE Constitution as amended.

 

ACTION: Advisor to amend Constitution.

ACTION: Clerk to send to Democratic Services for publishing on the SACRE website.

 

15.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

16.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Minutes of the meeting dated 17 July 2023 to be discussed and approved.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting dated 17 July 2023 be agreed as a correct record.

17.

National Updates

5.1 RE Hubs Website (Verbal)

5.2 National content standard (Verbal)

https://religiouseducationcouncil.org.uk/2023/09/national-content-standard-for-re-released/

 

Minutes:

The HSACRE Advisor urged all Faith Representative Committee Members from Group A and Group B to register their interest as Faith Speakers or Places of Worship on the RE Hubs website. Attendance to a free webinar session with the RE Hubs was advised so that they could then share their first-hand experiences of lived religion with schools in Hillingdon.

 

ACTION: Members to register on RE Hubs website.

 

It was suggested that other places of interest and worship in the local community could also be approached to register on the website. HSACRE Members were asked to forward contact names and email addresses to the Clerk. A draft letter of invitation from HSACRE Members would be devised for agreement by the Chair and then circulated to these contacts through the Democratic Services Clerk.

 

ACTION: Members to forward contact details to Clerk/Advisor.

ACTION: Advisor to devise letter of invitation.

ACTION: Clerk to send to above contacts.

 

The RE Advisor informed Members that, a National Content Statement had recently been published. This followed the Commission on Religious Education, in which a National Entitlement Statement was recommended. This had now been developed into a national, non-statutory statement encapsulating good quality RE, and was hoped to be adopted in all future RE syllabuses.

 

The RE Advisor suggested that this Content Standard may be made clearer when the Hillingdon Agreed Syllabus is reviewed.

 

It was noted that teacher networks had been set up to work with schools and help them improve their understanding of what good quality RE was and adopt a better worldview approach. This would support any review of the syllabus where schools would already be engaged when it came to revising the RE syllabus.

 

The Chair questioned the number of schools engaged with HSACRE in the Borough. The Advisor had liaised with the Hillingdon Learning Partnership, which was an operationally good partnership and cooperation between the local education authority and schools to improve professional development and teaching. There were currently 18 primary schools and 3 secondary schools that had signed up to receive the training package. However, the RE sessions had over 30 schools signed up.

 

 

18.

Local Updates

6.1 NASACRE RE HUB Network (Verbal)

6.2 RE Leader/Coordinator Meetings (Verbal)

6.3 RE in Schools – Survey (Verbal)

Minutes:

HSACRE were informed that suggested resources had been collated by the Advisor and sent out via School Improvement Team to support schools with navigating dialogue with pupils around the Middle East crisis.

 

There was also a planned workshop scheduled for December 2023 which would be delivered by the Advisor for teachers within Hillingdon schools about how to support dialogue with children around the Middle East conflict. This workshop was open to all schools.

 

Reference was made to the Advisor’s work with the Association of Citizenship Teaching and other organisations about providing advice, which had supported the development of the workshop training session to build teachers’ confidence in engaging pupils in discussion. This would also support them in developing learning about other controversial events and global issues.

 

In response to questions about the CPD support, including the upcoming workshop and RE training being provided to teachers, it was explained that the Advisor had liaised with the Hillingdon Learning Partnership to set these up.

 

The Advisor responded that the specific workshop on the Middle East conflict was booked as an afternoon session for teacher attendees and was open to all Hillingdon schools.

19.

Determinations pdf icon PDF 145 KB

7.1 Draft Determinations Policy Guidance and Application Form

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The HSACRE Determinations Guidance (Draft) had been drawn up, which set out how schools could apply to HSACRE for determination if they felt that the legal requirement for collective worship that was wholly or mainly of broadly Christian character was not appropriate for their pupils.

 

A new draft application for a determination form had also been produced that included requiring schools to identify the reasons for seeking a determination, suggesting inclusion of results of surveys/questionnaires/processes to consult parents and the percentage of pupils currently withdrawn from participation in Collective Worship, following a parental request. These were approved by HSACRE.

 

ACTION: Clerk to arrange for Democratic Services to add the Determinations Guidance to the SACRE webpage.

20.

Hillingdon SACRE Action Plan pdf icon PDF 209 KB

8.1 Draft Action Plan for 2023/24

Minutes:

The HSACRE Advisor put forward to Members a draft action plan for the Committee’s consideration. Key action points proposed, which were subsequently agreed included:

 

· SACRE led workshops to be planned and delivered by the Advisor in relation to interfaith event / Middle East conflict as discussed.

 

· Faith Representative Committee Members from Group A and B to register themselves as Faith Speakers or Places of Worship on the RE Hubs website.

 

· Members to complete the Membership List audit by the end of December 2023. This audit would be circulated to Members for completion via the Democratic Services Clerk.

 

· The amended draft HSACRE Constitution to be signed by the Chair and Democratic Services Clerk and uploaded onto SACRE website. The Democratic Services Clerk would arrange for this.

 

· Faith Representative Committee Members, including Local Authority Councillors would be contacted by Democratic Services for a list of addresses and a named person for the HSACRE Advisor to liaise with various faith group leaders and places of worship to progress HSACRE’s engagement with local community faith groups.

 

It was clarified that the teachers’ training sessions to build teachers’ confidence and subject knowledge in delivering high-quality RE would be held for secondary Heads of Department on 06 December 2023, not 04 December.

 

Members questioned if places of worship were available as a resource function on the Hillingdon Council website with the relevant personnel’s contact details.

 

The Advisor explained the intention of RE Hubs was to advertise available places of worship with contact details of the relevant personnel from their faith group organisation. Advertising a named person on the official Hillingdon Council website might lead to misconstrued accountability of the Council’s responsibilities, where a problem arose from a complaints issue or other matters.

 

21.

Dates of Future Meetings

Future Hillingdon SACRE meetings are currently scheduled for:

 

-       Tuesday 05 March 2024

 

Meetings for the 2023/24 summer term, 2024/25 autumn term and the 2024/25 spring term will be scheduled when Full Council meet on 22 February 2024. HSACRE will be able to discuss/amend these dates at its meeting on Tuesday 05 March 2024.

Minutes:

It was agreed that the next meeting of HSACRE would be scheduled for:

 

-       Tuesday 05 March 2023

 

 

Members will also be able to attend this meeting remotely via MS Teams (please contact the Democratic Services Clerk if you would like to join remotely).

 

22.

AOB

Minutes:

There was no other business.