City of York SACRE Annual Report 2022-23














1.   Introduction

Foreword by the Chair of SACRE

Following the City of York Council election in May 2023 I became chair of this committee and would like to start by thanking the outgoing members of the committee and those still involved for all of their hard work throughout 2022-23. I'd especially like to thank officers for their time and efforts.

Unfortunately, 2023 saw the rise of further conflicts around the world including the current events taking place in Gaza. It is events like this that demonstrate the need for good quality education about people's beliefs, faiths and ethos in order that young people recognise that we have more in common than that which divides us. I'd like to thank the York Interfaith group and the different community leaders for their continued work towards that better understanding in York.

In the 2023-24  academic year I would like to build on the previous work done by this group and focus on how we can be a resource for teachers. This will include thinking about how we can connect teachers together with the relevant people and relevant information to make the classroom experience of religious education even better for the young people in our City.

Once again thank you to all those involved.


Cllr R Webb












Meeting and Attendance 2022-23


City of York SACRE met five times in the academic year 2022-23. An additional meeting was added due to the problems experienced with achieving quorate meetings during 2022-23.


29th November 2022

12th January 2023

6th February 2023

23rd February 2023

22nd June 2023


During the academic year 2022-23 City of York SACRE met in face to face meetings. This caused some difficulties with achieving quorate meetings during 2022-23, with three of the 5 meetings held being inquorate. This led to an additional meeting being arranged on 23rd February 2023 to allow the 2021-22 annual report to be formally approved. Ensuring and maintaining quoracy for SACRE meetings is a priority for the academic year 2023-24 and to facilitate this SACRE took a decision to allow hybrid meetings to be an option for members.


The attendance, by Committee, is set out below:-



29th November


12th Jan


6th Feb


23rd Feb


22nd June


Committee A

Representing Other Denominations/Faith Communities






Committee B

Representing the Church of England






Committee C

Representing teachers






Committee D

Representing City of York Council






LA Officer


















A focus on the SACRE development plan, a report from the Local Authority officer (including a focus on standards) and a report on national NASACRE and RE professional organisations updates are standing items at each meeting.






2.   RE (statutory responsibilities)

Locally agreed syllabus

There are 17 primary, 2 secondary and 1 special maintained schools who follow the City of York Locally Agreed Syllabus.


There are 27 primary, 4 secondary and 1 special academies who have adopted the City of York Locally Agreed Syllabus.


Separate regulations covering maintained special schools require them to ensure that as far as practicable every pupil receives opportunities to explore RE. The City of York Agreed Syllabus 2021-2026 includes specific guidance and support for Special Schools. Special Schools use the City of York Locally Agreed Syllabus, at least partially, and adapt it to meet the needs of the pupils.


Standards and monitoring of RE

In 2022-23 York SACRE piloted monitoring visits to schools and on 23rd February 2023 the first school monitoring visit took place at a maintained primary school. The visit involved three members of SACRE drawn from committee A and D supported by the LA Adviser to SACRE. The visit provided SACRE members with the opportunity to speak to staff and pupils about the quality of R.E. in the school. It also provided an opportunity to test the value of monitoring visits and it has been agreed to continue to develop the programme of monitoring visits during 2023-24.

There were 14 inspections of York Schools between September 2022 and July 2023. Ten primary schools were inspected, one primary special school and three secondary schools. The Ofsted reports for make no direct reference to Religious Education. York SACRE is continuing to consider how it can develop its monitoring of standards in R.E. in the future as the monitoring of R.E. through Ofsted reports is not providing detailed information about the quality of R.E.






Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 results

KS4 and KS5 outcomes remain strong in comparison to schools nationally. The results for GCSE and A level religious studies are summarised in the table below:

Key Stage

No. of entries

% Grade 4+ (York)

% Grade 4+ (National)

Progress Score

Key Stage 4




+ 0.16 points (significantly above national)






Key Stage

No. of entries

% A*-C


% A*-C


Average points Score

Key Stage 5




38 (significantly above national)


The Key Stage 5 results show that more girls than boys took A level R.E. in 2023 – 55 girls and 24 boys, however the boys out-performed the girls both in attainment and progress. The majority of pupils (51 students) were White British and were identified as Higher Attainers (56 students).

At GCSE girls out-performed boys both in attainment and progress. The highest achieving groups were of Indian/Asian heritage (28 pupils) and those young people with English as an additional language (57 pupils).

Teaching, training and materials and advice for schools

In July 2023, SACRE at the request of schools organised an online continuing professional development webinar for teachers which was delivered by the Humanist Society. The focus of the webinar was to provide teachers with support on teaching non-faith aspects of the curriculum.

The results from the annual survey to schools are being used to inform the SACRE Development Plan and to identify priorities for further training and advice for schools during the academic year 2023-24.

City of York SACRE received no formal complaints regarding RE provision in the academic -year 2022-23.




3.   Collective Worship

Besides Religious Education each local authority must work with its SACRE to monitor the provision of daily collective worship. As a result of changes to the Ofsted framework and in the absence of further guidance, the City of York SACRE published guidance in 2017 to support Collective Worship in schools in the City, which it continues to promote within schools. The guidance is available on the City of York SACRE website (


Schools may apply to SACRE for a determination in order to provide Collective Worship of a non-Christian or other form. As in previous years, no determinations were requested by schools. 


There were no complaints registered with City of York SACRE in 2022/2023 in respect of collective worship. 


Updating City of York guidance on Collective Worship has been identified as a development point for City of York SACRE in 2023-24. 


4.   Links with other bodies

City of York SACRE is a member of the National Association of SACREs (NASACRE). Through the year SACRE members were informed of developments in RE from NASACRE, The National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) and The Religious Education Council of England and Wales (REC).  

City of York SACRE has a long- standing relationship with York Interfaith Group. York Interfaith Group have set up a mechanism to support visits and visitors to York schools. In November 2022 York Interfaith Group ran a logo competition for schools which was promoted by York SACRE.

City of York SACRE supports the York Holocaust Memorial Day event.  This event took place in January 2023.

During the Academic year 2022-23 City of York SACRE commissioned some specialist RE adviser support from Olivia Seymour, Diocese of York. This support focused on supporting the work of SACRE meetings, training for SACRE members and reporting on regional and national updates.


5.   City of York SACRE’s own arrangements

During the academic year 2022-23 City of York SACRE continued its close relationship with City of York Council’s Democratic Services. In autumn 2021 Democratic Services, in consultation with City of York SACRE, finalised the process of reviewing the constitution and it was approved by members. This has led to the role of SACRE being clarified within the Council’s constitution and has enhanced the visibility of SACRE.

Structures and processes to enable members to monitor RE were developed during 2022-23 leading to the piloting of school monitoring visits and revision of the Schools questionnaire.

An officer in the Local Authority’s Democratic Services Section acts as Clerk to SACRE.  


The people who serve on York SACRE are invited to do so by the Corporate Director of Children’s Services and Education on the recommendation of various bodies in the local community with a concern for the religious education of school children. The law prescribes that there have to be four “committees” each comprising representatives of specified groups. The current SACRE is constituted as follows:-

Committee A - Representing Other Denominations / Faith Communities:-

Kate Bailey joined March 2021 (Catholic)

Karen Vincent joined August 2022 (Catholic)

Ben Rich (Jewish)

Keith Albans (Methodist)

Iman Abid Salik (Muslim)

Deborah Evans joined March 2021

(Religious Society of Friends)

Vacant (Salvation Army)

Vacant (Sikh)

Daryoush Mazloum (York Baha’i Community)

Penny Coppin-Siddall (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Ian Hodgson (Humanist)      



Committee B - Representing the Church of England:-

Sue Bland (Diocese of York)

Katherine Harper (Archbishop Holgate’s CE Academy)


Committee C - Representing Teachers:-

Andy Todd (Ralph Butterfield)

Taco Michiels (Joseph Rowntree)


Committee D - Representing the City of York Council are Councillors:-

Emilie Knight (Lib Dem)

Martin Rowley (Con)

Sarah Wilson (Labour)

Bob Webb (Labour), appointed Chair June 2023


In attendance:-

Maxine Squire (Education Adviser)

Angela Bielby (Clerk)

Finance – annual budget

York’s SACRE is assigned an annual budget of £3,500. A summary of spend in 2022-23 is shown in the table below:



Total Spend

NASACRE annual membership fee for 2022-23


Specialist RE adviser commissioned from Diocese of York


Total spend 2022-23





This report is circulated to:

·                     NASACRE;

·                     DfE;

·                     City of York Council Children, Education and Communities Scrutiny;

·                     City of York schools;

·                     SACRE members representative bodies.