Agenda and minutes

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education
Thursday, 23rd March, 2017 7.00 pm

Venue: Alan Wunderley Centre, Hall Mead School, Marlborough Gardens, Upminster, RM14 1SF

Contact: Anthony Clements e-mail:  anthony.clements@onesource.co.uk  Tel: 01708 433065

Items
No. Item

65.

ANNOUNCEMENTS pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Details will be announced of the arrangements in case of fire or other event that may require the evacuation of the meeting room or building.

 

(Directions to venue attached).

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed all present to the meeting and details were given of action in the case of fire or othere event that might require the evacuation of the meeting room.  

66.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE - if any, to receive

Minutes:

Apoligues were received from the following members:

 

Group A: Rabbi Lee Sunderland,  Saddhabaya, Jenny Fox, Dawn Ladbrook, Lutheneal Adams

 

Group C: Kirsty Fanning

 

Group D: Councillors Joshua Chapman, Gillian Ford, Jason Frost and Dilip Patel

 

Co-opted Member: Councillor Wendy Brice-Thompson

 

It was noted that members of groups A and B were able to send substitutes if necessary.

67.

NEW or SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

To note any substitute members present at the meeting and welcome any new members.

Minutes:

Louise Linton was welcomed as a provisional new member representing teachers (group C).

 

 

It was noted that members of Groups A and B were allowed to send substitutes to the meeting if necessary.  

68.

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING AND MATTERS ARISING pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To agree as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 20 October 2016 (attached) and to authorise the Chairman to sign them and to address any matters arising therefrom.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 October 2016 were AGREED as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

It was noted that a SACRE representative from Barking & Dagenham who had attended the last meeting as an observer had been complimentary about the organisation of Havering SACRE.

 

Update on school activity (minute 56) – It was noted that the professional advisor had met with both Sue Suttin and Mary Phillips – the then Head of Learning and Achievement at the Council.

69.

RE AT HALLMEAD SCHOOL AND THE RE QUALITY MARK pdf icon PDF 288 KB

Examples of RE work undertaken at Hall Mead School will be available for SACRE members to view prior to the meeting.

 

Information on the RE quality mark is attached for noting by SACRE.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that Hall Mead School had been awarded the highest level gold Quality Mark for RE. SACRE was able to encorage schools to undertake the Quality Mark audit. This involved a light touch inspection over a single day. Questionnaires were also distributed to childen in the school asking what RE work they had undertaken and discussions were of course also held with relevant teachers.

 

The cost of the Quality Mark application was £450 although discounts were given for smaller schools.

 

It was AGREED that Mrs Diamond-Conway should give a presentation on the RE Quality Mark at a forhcoming subject leads meeting.

70.

UPDATE ON SCHOOL ACTIVITY pdf icon PDF 178 KB

To receive written reports from the Primary and Secondary phase representatives and to comment on them or propose action as necessary.

 

Professional adviser report attached.

Minutes:

Mrs Diamond-Cionway reported that the Havering primary RE network had met recenty and looked at the snowflake technique which allowed the discussion of differences in an atmosphere of respect. The national survey of primary RE had also been considered at the meeting. Each school had been asked to bring an example of pupils’ workbooks to the next meeting as this would allow different standards of work in each school to be checked.

 

Havering schools had been invited to attend the Redbridge secondary RE group although Ms Linton was not aware of this. It was agreed that Ms Linton should meet separately with the professional advisers to discuss the secondary group.

71.

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION pdf icon PDF 218 KB

To receive written reports and to comment on or propose action as appropriate.

 

Professional adviser report attached.

Minutes:

It was noted that the RE Commission had now been launched and there was a short time remaining in which to give evidence to this. Mrs Weston had recently given evidence to the Commission and further evidence sessions were planned.

 

It was noted that SACRE members could access the NASACRE website. The NASACRE conference was planned for 16 May and cost £100 per delegate. The clerk would enquire whether there was any budget available in children’s services for this and members were invited to advise the Chair or the professional advisors if they wished to attend.

 

Information about a book on humanism that was available free of charge to schools could be accessed via the portal.

 

The professional advisor had asked the Department for Education for a breakdown of funding for the locally agreed RE syllabus in each borough. It was noted that SACREs would still be funded following the planned removal of the Education Grant.

72.

TERMS OF REFERENCE pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To discuss the proposed terms of reference for Havering SACRE.

 

Proposed terms of reference attached.

Minutes:

The proposed terms of reference for SACRE (attached) were agreed unanimously for recommendation to the Council.

73.

RESOURCES TO SUPPORT THE TEACHING OF GCSE pdf icon PDF 385 KB

List of resources attached for information.

Minutes:

A list of resources on the major faiths had been compiled although it was noted that some of the weblinks listed were no longer valid. Group A SACRE representatives were therefore asked to recommend further websites suitable for RE teachers.

 

It was noted that other books and websites on Islam were available and details could be sent to the professional advisors.

74.

COMPLAINTS PROTOCOL

Protocol for agreement by SACRE:

 

Any formal complaints made regarding SACRE will be dealt with by the chief education officer. This protocol should be officially documented.

 

Minutes:

A proposed complaints protocol was before the Council for consideration. It was explained that Havering SACRE had not had a complaints protocol before but that it would not be appropriate for SACRE to investigate complaints about itself.

 

The professional advisors would check with the Council’s Chief Education Officer if a response had now been sent to a complainant who had raised a complaint about SACRE. The formal procedure for making complaints about SACRE in future would be to write to the Council’s Chief Education Officer.

 

It was AGREED unanimously that the following be adopted as the Havering SACRE complaints protocol:

 

Any formal complaints made regarding SACRE will be dealt with by the Chief Education Officer. This protocol should be officially documented.  

75.

CODE OF CONDUCT pdf icon PDF 19 KB

The SACRE professional adviser has supplied three examples of existing SACRE Codes of Conduct (attached) for consideration and review by SACRE.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered three examples of SACRE codes of conduct from other areas. It had been recommended by the National Association of SACREs that all SACREs should have a code of conduct.

 

It was AGREED that the professional advisors would draft a code of conduct for Havering SACRE and bring this to the next meeting.

76.

NASACRE SURVEY

Statement from professional adviser:

 

NASACRE represents views of SACREs to policymakers, politicians, the Department for Education, Ofsted and other agencies. In order to do this effectively, they need to know what our views are about RE, what we are doing at present and our aspirations for the future. To help them gain this knowledge, they have launched The Big NASACRE Survey and have asked SACREs to give their input by the end of April.

 

Minutes:

A survey had been sent from the National Association (NASACRE) for all SACREs to complete. Members discussed whether there should be a local or national RE syllabus and the majority of those present favoured a combination of the two i.e. a combination of local and national frameworks. Havering’s current RE syllabus was based on the national framework but there was a lot of variation across the UK.

 

It was noted that no final decisions would be taken nationally until the RE Commission report had been published. The professional advisors would complete the survey based on the views expressed at the meeting. The preference for a combination of local and national syllabus frameworks was AGREED by 10 votes to 1 for a local syllabus only 0 for a national syllabus only.

 

 

77.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Any member may raise issues previously notified to either the Chairman or the Clerk (unless the issue relates to a matter arising from the meeting itself or is of an urgent nature, when the Chairman will determine whether to allow it or not).

 

The following items were deferred from the recent NASACRE Briefing:

 

·         1. Discuss the questions posed about the teaching of Islam in the item on the “Tell MAMA” report.  Members might wish to consider whether a sub-group should be set up to investigate the relevance of the “Tell MAMA” survey to local concerns and how the LA is responding. An extract from the NASACRE briefing #12 is attached and further information supplied by the professional adviser is given below:

 

 

Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) is a reporting service for those who have experienced Anti-Muslim hate incidents and crimes. They published their annual report for 2015 at the end of June last year. The full report can be read at https://tellmamauk.org/geography-anti-muslim-hatred-2015-tell-mama-annual-report/.

Some important headlines to note are that:

·         In most settings, Muslim women are more likely to be attacked than men. The women in these cases are usually wearing Islamic style clothing. Verbal abuse that they receive does not just have Islamophobic overtones, but also racist and misogynistic ones.

·         The majority of perpetrators are white males.

·         Transport networks are where many incidents have happened.

·         Geographically, there is no correlation between areas where Muslims have been attacked and places of high unemployment/social deprivation.

 

It is important for SACRE to note that 11% of offline incidents were in places of education. Around the time that this report was published, Havering organised a training session for teachers on Islam.

 

 

 

 

·         2. Do members consider that a training day would be helpful?  If so, do they want to consider when it should be held and what it should cover now or delegate this to a group to oversee and report back at the next meeting?

 

Minutes:

It was noted that the Tell Mama report on anti-Islamic hate crime had been published some five months ago and it was AGREED to wait until a follow up report had been released before taking any further action. It was noted that a session to assist Havering teachers with the teaching of Islam had recently been organised.

 

Mr Siddiqui added that the Tell Mama report had been discussed in the Romford Mosque. Whilst the report made it easier to report incidents, Mr Siddiqui felt that the Metropolitan Police was a racist organisation. Mr Siddiqui himself had been attacked in recent months and there had also been incidents of vandalism at the Mosque. Mr Siddiqui felt that this situation could be improved by the correct teaching of Islam – which stated that everyone was equal, in schools. The Chairman added that this was already standard teaching practice. The Havering syllabus covered Islam from Key Stage 1 and Children’s Services monitored RE in schools every two years. SACRE could monitor this in the third year. The professional advisor suggested SACRE could run a training session for teachers on responding to Islamophobia.

 

Mr Siddiqui felt that there was still a lack of prosecution of hate crimes and that politicians had made problems for the Romford Mosque. The Chairman expressed her sympathy for the bad experiences Mr Siddiqui had undergone. It was noted that SACRE could only cover RE and had no remit over wider issues such as policing.

 

It was AGREED that one hour of the autumn SACRE meeting should be used for training. Training resources from the NASACRE website could be utilised. The professional advisors would bring options for SACRE training to the next meeting.

 

It was suggested that enquiries could be made as to how many children in Havering were withdrawn from RE classes.

78.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To set a date for the Summer Term meeting and, if possible, set a date for future meetings.

Minutes:

It was AGREED that the next meeting would be held at St Edward’s Church in Romford on a date to be advised in late June or early July. The meeting would commence at 6 pm.