Agenda and minutes

Venue: Pathfinder Suite, Archbishop Holgate's School, Hull Road, York

No. Item


Chair's Announcements


The Chair welcomed all to the meeting. He explained that Group Members, Andy Tod (Ralph Butterfield School) and Taco Michiels (Joseph Rowntree School) would be presenting an update on delivering RE in primary school and secondary school.



Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received and accepted for Penny Coppin-Siddall (Group A), Ben Rich (Group A), Kirsty Hollinger(Group B),  and Janie Berry (City of York Council Director of Governance).




Declarations of Interest


Cllr Rowley declared a non prejudicial interest in his professional capacity as a Funeral Director who instructed Celebrants and Humanist Celebrants. Tjere were no further declarations of interest.



Minutes of the meeting on 5 January 2022 and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 5 January 2022 and consider matters arising from that meeting.



As the meeting was inquorate the approval of the minutes was carried forward to the next meeting on  June for approval. It was noted that the minutes would be amended to include Imam Mirazam.


Matters Arising

The Chair noted the following matters arising from the meeting held on 5 January:

Following the meeting Group D met to give feedback on the self evaluation form. The Chair also met with Cllr Fitzpatrick separately. The Chair thanked Olivia Seymour, Maxine Squire and Ben Rich for their work on this.

Member attendance at the Jewish exhibition at the Castle Museum. Ben Rich was thanked for facilitating the visit. Regarding the visit to the exhibition, Olivia Seymour noted that the information on the display boards at the exhibition being available digitally was being explored and it was hoped that videos played at the exhibition would be available as school resources. Daryoush Mazloum noted that this this was being discussed by York Interfaith Group. It was confirmed that the schools’ RE Network dates would be given to Olivia Seymour when finalised.


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 5 Jan 2022 be carried forward for approval at the next meeting on 22 June 2022.


Reason: In order that the minutes be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.


Member Update - Humanism pdf icon PDF 218 KB

Ian Hodgson will give a brief talk on Humanism, to be followed by questions from Members.  Understanding Humanism: core knowledge (ages 5-14) is attached for  information.



Using the Humanism UK Core Knowledge Guide as a basis, Ian Hodgson gave an overview of the main aspects of Humanism. Olivia Seymour thanked him for his update and noted that the guide had been a good resource for schools and from page 6 onwards gave a good example of how to teach world views in schools. This was supported by Maxine Squire who welcomed the guide as encouraging independent thought and being useful in schools as part of RE and the wider curriculum.


Members thanked Ian Hodgson for his update and in answer to Member questions noted that:

With reference to page 12 of the guide on vocabulary for 5-7 year olds in explaining the big bang, he explained how he would teach it a timeline for the natural cause of the universe. (It was noted that he was a former teacher). A Member noted that in Key Stage 1 the guide could help teachers to look at the introduction of non religious world views.

A Group C Member noted that Humanism was discussed through the key stages and came into focus in Key Stage 2.

A Member noted that in his profession as a funeral director approximately 85% of clients were non religious but did not necessarily ascribe to Humanism. Ian Hodgson explained that views across Humanism were not homogenous. Olivia Seymour added that this was part of why the new syllabus had worked towards religious and world views.


Teaching RE in Primary School

Andy Tod gave a presentation on teaching RE in primary school. He detailed the Ofsted framework for RE, the nine characteristics of RE and challenges in RE, noting that the RE Today syllabus was very helpful. He noted that the

York schools’ RE network had identified the need for resources in teaching RE.


Andy Tod was thanked for his presentation and in response to Member questions explained that:

Parental involvement was important and schools worked within the communities they were based. There was also the opportunity to bring parents into school to share their beliefs .

The schools RE network had identified that new teachers needed RE training.


[The meeting adjourned for a break at 7.02pm and resumed at 7.05pm].


Teaching RS in Secondary School


Taco Michiels gave a presentation on teaching RE in secondary school. He gave an overview of the good, bad and ugly aspects of this. He was thanked for his presentation and in answer to Member questions noted that:

Regarding LGBT and transgender, gender was included in the teaching of citizenship. Maxine Squire added that this was also included in different ways in PSE, pastoral time and was part of promoting the British value of tolerance.

A Member asked if RS having less time in the curriculum had seen less teachers training to be RS teachers. Taco Michiels noted that this different area to area and Maxine Squire added that for the last few years, quotas had been set for subject specialisms. Olivia Seymour noted that there was a national  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.


Ofsted and RE pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To receive an update on Ofsted and RE.

Additional documents:


Members had been provided with the NATRE Inspecting RE: An examination of OFSTED inspections paper and information from a York school Ofsted inspection. Maxine Squire explained that inspections were now shorter and she noted the references to RE in the five York schools Ofsted inspections since September 2021. Olivia Seymour noted that nationally there was an expectation for schools with religious designation to deliver world views.


Members were asked to consider the role of Ofsted reports in

monitoring the quality of religious education in York; and to discuss what additional sources of information they would need to effectively discharge their duty to monitor standards in Religious Education. The following points were made during discussion:

SACRE needed to regulate how it monitored in RE and a Member asked if SACRE needed a structure for the monitoring of standards. Maxine Squire suggested that SACRE could ask whether curriculum time had been reduced. She was asked of SACRE had the resources to do this and Olivia Seymour suggested that the schools questionnaire could be used.

It was suggested that he school survey could be split up into different parts of the year.

A Member asked if there could be a mock Ofsted inspection with SACRE taking a sample of what was going on in schools. Olivia Seymour outlined the options York SACRE had develop this.

A Member noted that having the meeting in a school had made SACRE come alive and was a move in the right direction.

The Chair noted he had attended primary RE network meetings and would be attending secondary network meetings.

Concerning the suggestion for a mock Ofsted inspection, the Chair explained that SACRE had limited funds and it would be good to the mock Ofsted centrally because of the budget. A Member suggested that it would be good to hold the mock Ofsted inspection online.

Regarding equipping subject leaders, Olivia Seymour suggested that subject leaders could be trained on deep dive Ofsted inspections and SACRE could look at training for this. She added that SACRE needed to find a way of supporting subject leaders and offered to help facilitate Dr Richard Quey giving a talk to SACRE.


Resolved: That  Members give feedback to the Chair on the points raised.


Reason: To identify what additional sources of information they would need to effectively discharge their duty to monitor standards in Religious Education.




Monitoring of Standards in RE pdf icon PDF 421 KB

To receive an update on the monitoring of Standards in RE.


Additional documents:


This was covered as part of the item on Ofsted and RE.


Correspondence on complaints / determinations

A verbal update will be given on complaints received and the  determinations in respect of those complaints.



It was reported that there had been no complaints to SACRE.

Resolved: That Members be updated on complaints.

Reason: In order to be kept updated on complaints to SACRE and

determinations of complaints.


Dates for future meetings

7 June 2022 at 5.00pm



22 June 2022 at 5pm (venue to be confirmed)


2021-22 Work plan pdf icon PDF 200 KB

To consider the 2021-22 SACRE work plan.



It was agreed that Interfaith Week would be added as an item on the agenda for the 22 June meeting.


Resolved: That the worplan be updated to reflect the above change.


Reason: In order to keep the workplan updated.


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