Agenda and minutes

Venue: Ralph Butterfield School, Station Rd, Haxby, York YO32 3LS

No. Item


Election of Chair [18:00]


It was proposed that Cllr Waller, as the City of York Council’s new Executive Member for Children, Young People & Education, be nominated as Chair.


No further nominations were received, and it was


Resolved:  That Cllr Waller be appointed as Chair of SACRE for one year.


Reason:     In accordance with paragraph 5.1 of SACRE’s Constitution.


Chair's Announcements [18:00]


There were no announcements from the Chair.


Apologies for Absence [18:00]


Apologies were received from: Kate Bailey, Ian Hodgson and Imam Mirasam (Group A), Cllr Fiona Fitzpatrick (Group D) and Janie Berry (Director of Governance).


Declarations of Interest [18:01]


There were no declarations of interest.


A short talk and Q&A on Buddhism [18:02]

A short talk on Buddhism describing the elements of Buddhist belief, the practice of meditation, how worship is performed and the impact of the belief system on daily life to be given by Mr Mark Jones from a local Buddhism centre.



Mark Jones, of the York Buddhist Centre, gave a talk on Buddhism.  He described his own background as a Buddhist of 32 years’ standing and provided a brief outline of the beliefs and principles of the faith, the differences between Western and Eastern practices, and common misunderstandings and stereotypes.


Andy explained that Mark visited Ralph Butterfield School as part of visiting speakers on different faiths


A question and answer session followed, during which Mark further explained:

·        That the York Buddhist Centre would be adding information on what they can offer to schools on their website (for which there would be a charge). They would also be inviting people to the Centre.

·        It was not a prophletising religion

·        The York Buddhist community in York was small. As part of York Interfaith Week they would out on an evening for visitors.

·        Buddhist festivals ran around the full moons.

·        In some Buddhist religions Buddha was seen as a deity, although this was largely cultural. Western Buddhism saw Buddha as a human being.

·        Three biggest misconceptions in Buddhism were monastics


A Member asked if a role for SACRE was to give guidance on paying for visits to schools. Olivia Seymour explained the difficulty with this and suggested that Committee A could look at this in more detail. It was suggested information on school visits could be added as an agenda item for a future meeting. Mark Jones was asked and agreed to discuss Buddhist representation on SACRE with his community.


Resolved: That the information on the work of the York Buddhist Centre be noted.


Reason: In order to be updated in the work of York Buddhist Centre


[Cllr Rowley and Mark Jones left the meeting at 18:35]


Minutes of the meeting on 5 January 2022 and 30 March 2022 and Matters Arising [18:35] pdf icon PDF 134 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meetings held on 5 January and 30 March 2022 and consider matters arising from the meeting on 30 March 2022.


Additional documents:


Resolved: That the minutes of the meetings held 5 January 2022 and 30 March 2022 be approved and signed as an accurate record.


The Chair noted the change in SACRE membership, as approved at the Council meeting in May 2022.


Monitoring of Standards - Development Plan [18:39] pdf icon PDF 355 KB

In Groups, Members will consider the content of the schools questionnaire to be sent to schools in September. Members will also reflect on possible self-assessment reports covering progress made during 2021-22.


Additional documents:


Members considered the City Of York SACRE: Development Plan 2020 – 2022. Maxine Squire noted that the 2020-22 development plan had now come to an end and as such it was time to review it.

Maxine noted the impact of the COVID pandemic on the work of schools and SACRE.

Need to continue work on website and develop a communications plan across the school community, council and other agencies such as Interfaith York. This was supported by Olivia Seymour, who encouraged the development of this, building on the momentum of the launch of the agreed syllabus.

The SACRE was firmly established in its constitutional development.

Need to look at the impact of the agreed syllabus and where schools would need support on the implementation of it. Questions on this may be added to the school monitoring survey. This would aid in the development of a CPD programme for schools.


The advantage of virtual meetings for schools was noted

The was a small budget for SACRE to support work in schools

SACRE did not have a clear view in the monitoring of teaching RE in schools

The annual conference in schools had not been achieved and the barriers to engagement for attending those events was noted

Training could be completed online.

Olivia noted that the last primary conference was well attended and the secondary conference was more challenging with attendance opened up to all York secondary schools. It was suggested that a carousel type event may be welcomed by schools.


The new development plan had been set around the NASACRE framework


Andy informed Members One of the groups that a Speak Up Diversity York had approached the Locak Authority and suggested that an action plan be created to address racism in York and it was suggested that they could be invited to speak at a future SACRE meeting.


Olivia undertook to check on the NASACRE website on its definition of stakeholders


Members welcomed a focus on communication as a priority for the work of SACRE


Maxine suggested that she and Olivia could draft the actions for the developemnet and circulate to Members for comments. This was welcomed by Members and Ben offered to input into the actions. Mxine reported that for the Annual Report Business Intelligence at the Council would be able to help distribute the questionnaires to schools. Members were asked for their views on questions to be included. Cllr Cuthbertson noted the limitations on including free text in the Business Intelligence software and he offered to liaise on this with Maxine. Taco Michiels, Andy Tod and Kirsty Hollinger also agreed to input on this .



Resolved: That a working group of Maxine Squire, Olivia Seymour, Taco Michils, Andy Tod and Kirsty Hollinger be formed to examine the development plan.


Reason: In order to keep the development plan up to date.






National RE and Collective worship updates [19:17] pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To receive an update on national RE and Collective worship updates


Additional documents:


Members were updated on Regional and National updates. This included updates on the Religion and Worldviews Project, White paper on Education and RE, REThinkRE media release and report card on RE and the NATRE report on RE in Secondary Schools and a summary of the NASACRE conference. Members were asked whether the Religion and Worldviews Project should be considered in further detail at a future meeting, particularly in relation to its impact on the curriculum. Olivia explained potential changes to the statutory role of SACREs nationally as a result of the White paper on Education and RE. She noted that at the moment, the majority of York schools used the SACRE agreed syllabus. Concerning the NATRE report on RE in Secondary Schools and a summary it was noted that there had been an increase in the uptake of RE at KS4.


Resolved: That the National RE and Collective worship updates be noted.


Reason: In order to be kept up to date on National RE and Collective worship.


Correspondence on complaints / determinations [19:23]

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.


2022-23 Work plan [19:25] pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To consider the 2021-22 SACRE work plan.



It was agreed that the development of the development plan would be added as an item on the next meeting agenda


Resolved: That the work plan be updated to reflect the above change.

Reason: In order to keep the work plan updated.


Future meeting dates [19:26]

11 Oct, 1 Feb and 16 May


11 October 2022 at 6.00pm in the Hudson room, West Offices


It was agreed that there an additional meeting be added in December, the February meeting move to March and the following meeting to be held after Annual Council in May 2023.


Urgent Business - Interfaith Week [19:28]

Any other business which the Chair considers to be urgent.



Members discussed Interfaith week (week of 12 November 2022]. Members were invited to the tree planting event as part of this.


Resolved: That Interfaith Week would be added to the Development Plan.


Reason: In order to support the work of York Interfaith.


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