Agenda and minutes

City of Wolverhampton SACRE - Thursday, 28th February, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 5, Ground Floor - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Shelley Humphries  Tel: 01902 554070 email:

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions




No apologies for absence were received for the meeting.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 129 KB

[To approve the minutes of 22 October 2018 as a correct record]


That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 October 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair subject to the following amendments:


1.            Minute 10 corrected to read as follows: Charlotte Harding reported that there had been no SIAMS or Inspection 48 findings since the last SACRE meeting. There had been a change in inspection schedule for SIAMS.



Matters Arising

[To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the meeting held on 22 October 2018]


It was requested that Sue Blackmore, Representative of the Church of England be removed from the membership as she was no longer employed by the Diocese of Lichfield.


Minute 6

It was noted that the Kirpan Policy was guidance rather than policy and that the draft guidance had been agreed in principle by the Safeguarding Team. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document had progressed to the next stage and will be completed before the Kirpan Guidance was released.


Minute 7

The Collective Worship document was tabled as requested at the last meeting. Members were asked to provide feedback for Charlotte Harding, School Governance and Workforce Co-Ordinator to report to Lat Baylock, RE Today. It was noted that a launch was planned where schools would receive it directly.




[To receive a verbal update on the current SACRE membership]


Charlotte Harding, School Governance and Workforce Co-Ordinator provided a verbal update on SACRE membership and highlighted that there was still a vacancy for a representative of the Methodist Church. There was a call for recommendations and members were asked to contact Charlotte Harding with contact details.


It was also noted that a replacement was now required for Sue Blackmore as a Church of England representative. It was clarified that members of the Clergy could be approached to fill this vacancy; however, approval was required from Paula Lloyd at the Diocese of Lichfield and would be facilitated by Charlotte Harding.


It was also noted that the British Humanist Association had been approached and expressed with an invitation to be represented on SACRE. An interest had been expressed although the nearest group was located Birmingham. It was agreed that an update would be provided once a representative had been identified.



That SACRE members contact Charlotte Harding, School Governance and Workforce Co-Ordinator with nominations for the Methodist and Church of England vacancies.



Report from Religious Education (RE) Today

[To receive an update report from RE Today] [to be tabled]


Stephen Pett, RE Today, delivered the Religious Education news update for Wolverhampton SACRE.


Commission on Religious Education (RE) – It was generally felt that the response of the Secretary of State to the Commission on RE Report had been disappointing and slightly inaccurate in that it should have referred to religion and world views. It was also felt that it did not address all that had been requested. It was noted that it was an initial rather than final response and continued work was required. One recommendation was that SACRE become a network rather than act as a committee, however the Group would continue to hold responsibility for the syllabus for the foreseeable future.


National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE) Annual Surveys -It was reported that NATRE had released the results of its national NATRE Primary Survey 2018 which had been conducted with over 500 primary teachers across the country.


It was highlighted that survey results indicated that:


1.    Nearly half of trainee primary teachers have had between zero and three hours of RE training

2.    30% of primary RE teachers had had no subject specific training in the last year, not even in a staff meeting

3.    1/3 of teachers who started teaching in the last five years have no qualification in RE, not even a GCSE

4.    Over 50% of schools have a HLTA taking some of their RE lessons

5.    Many primary schools do not give adequate time for RE


Concerns were raised in respect of point three that one third of teaching staff had not undertaken enough study to teach the subject to a high standard. It was noted, however that this still indicated that the two thirds or the majority did have satisfactory qualifications. Members were directed to the link provided to see the results in full:


Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (OFSTED) Draft Inspection Framework -It was highlighted that OFSTED were aware of the compliance issues around RE and the new framework pushed toward exploring the intent of the curriculum and the impact and outcomes for pupils rather than just results. Attention was drawn to page 41, paragraph 159 of the framework document that stated, “All pupils in maintained schools are expected to study the national curriculum subjects, religious education and age-appropriate sex education.” It was agreed that it was positive that the importance of the subject of RE had been recognised and that the framework had a strong agreed syllabus that focused on purpose.


It was noted that, following the inspection of several church schools, the ethos of the school had been the main focus.


Withdrawal Information – This related to withdrawal of children from studying RE by their parents and it was highlighted that written guidance was available from NATRE jointly with the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) to inform further. It was noted that some children were only withdrawn from selected aspects of RE rather than from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) Theatre Event

[To receive a verbal update on the SACRE Theatre Event]


Charlotte Harding, School Governance and Workforce Co-Ordinator provided a verbal account of the theatre event held at the Molineux. The event brought 120 pupils from seven primary schools together as well as several SACRE representatives. The performance by the Khayaal Theatre Company portrayed several child-friendly stories set at different periods of history from the Jewish Faith, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity. Follow up work had been produced by students inspired by the performance.


It was noted that thanks had been passed on from attendees from various schools and it was hoped that similar events could be organised. It was noted that City of Wolverhampton SACRE had paid a percentage and the local Parish had contributed as well. It was noted that working with others would help bring costs down. It was suggested to investigate an age appropriate show for Key Stage Three or Four.


Other events planned were the Primary School ‘Respect for All’ conference and the Secondary School conference focusing on religion and science, both planned for July 2019.


It was noted that there was a production company in Manchester known as God and the Big Bang which incorporated a science element as well as a faith element; Mark Cooper, Representative of the Church of England offered to pass on contact details for consideration for future events.



That the SACRE Theatre Event update be received.



Secondary Education

[To discuss RE provision for Secondary Education]


Charlotte Harding, School Governance and Workforce Co-Ordinator provided a verbal update on RE provision in Secondary Education.


A report was tabled with statistics from Wolverhampton School RE Data as at February 2019.The information was collated as part of a freedom of information request and showed the percentage of time dedicated to RE per year group for each (maintained?) school in Wolverhampton. It was reported that it was recommended that 5% of time be dedicated to RE in schools. It was noted that RE should still be covered in secondary school, even if students were not taking exams in the subject.


It was clarified that the statistics represented in the table showed a snapshot of a particular day and it was queried whether the data was reliable. It was considered that some of information may just have been recorded on a day when no RE lessons were scheduled.


It was noted that there had been a graduated approach to persuade schools to include RE on the syllabus. Gentle reminder letters had been sent to headteachers and RE heads at all schools.


In order to continue the conversation, it was agreed that another letter be drafted addressed to each Chair of Governors making reference to the figures shown and reminding schools of their responsibilities. It was agreed that the letter would be sent on behalf of Meredith Teasdale, Director of Education and Councillor Lynne Moran, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills to escalate the matter and that an update would be provided at the next SACRE meeting.



1.    That a letter be sent to Wolverhampton schools from Councillor Lynne Moran and Meredith Teasdale, Director of Education as a reminder of responsibilities to include RE on the syllabus.

2.    That an update on the outcomes of escalating the matter be provided at the next SACRE meeting.



2019 - 2020 Provision of Services

[To approve Provision of Services for 2019 – 2020]


Charlotte Harding, School Governance and Workforce Co-Ordinator provided a verbal update on 2019 – 2020 provision. It was noted that the budget for this period had not yet been confirmed however it was agreed that the focus be on the updated agreed syllabus and teacher conferences regarding; Intentions, Implementation, Impact.


SACRE support and management of RE Subject Leader Network was to continue. The options were to allocate either £6,600 of funding to RE Today costs, which would cover basic provision with the rest spent on pupils, or to allocate £8,600 to include the conferences with no scope for future theatre events. It was suggested that, as the conferences had been hosted for the last three to four years, that something different be trialled such as an interactive presentation or webinar.


It was agreed to await the final budget allocations before making a final decision. It was confirmed that these would be known following the presentation of the Final Budget Report 2019 – 2020 at Full Council on 6 March 2019. It was noted to be mindful that the involvement of RE Today had made a significant difference.



That the funding allocations for RE Today be decided following the content of the Final Budget Report 2019 - 2020 being made known at the Full Council meeting of 6 March 2019.



Ofsted Findings During the Last Quarter

[To receive an update on Ofsted findings during the last quarter]


Charlotte Harding, School Governance and Workforce Co-Ordinator provided a verbal update on OFSTED’s findings in respect of RE provision in Wolverhampton schools. It was reported that the majority were found to be good or requiring improvement with only one being rated as inadequate.



That the OFSTED findings be noted.



Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) and Inspection 48 Findings During the Last Quarter

[To receive a presentation on findings from SIAMS and Inspection 48 visits]


It was reported that there had been no SIAMS inspections since the last SACRE meeting.


In respect of Inspection 48, St Teresa’s Catholic Academy had been inspected in November 2018 and rated good.



That the Inspection 48 findings be noted.



Any other business


It was reported that the new RE Statement of Entitlement was available on the Church of England website. Mark Cooper, Representative of Church of England offered to circulate the updated version and present an item at a future meeting in relation to the SIAMS schedule. It was suggested that a similar piece of work be undertaken by the Catholic Diocese for Inspection 48.


Dates of further meetings

·         23 May 2019



That the date of the next meeting be confirmed as 23 May 2019.