Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Election of Chair


The Interim Chair confirmed that the election of the Chair would take place during the Autumn term and that the Chair job description would be circulated to Members.


Resolved: That the election of Chair be held during the Autumn term.


Reason:     In order to meet requirement for the election of Chair as set out in the SACRE Constitution.


Welcome and Introductions


The Interim Chair welcomed all to the meeting. Introductions were made.


Apologies for absence and declarations of interest


Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Kevin Duffy, Katherine Harper, Claire Hennigan, Sarah Griffiths and Maxine Squire.


Cllr Cuthbertson declared that he and his wife, Cllr Runciman were were members of the community of York Minster. There were no other declarations of interest.




Update from LA on Officer roles


The LA Head of Secondary Improvement gave a verbal update on officer roles as follows:

·        The previous LA SACRE Officer had taken flexible retirement. Members thanked the officer for his support and work

·        The Interim Chair was a special advisor on SACRE and Religious Education (RE) matters to the LA. She was thanked for her work on SACRE over the last 18 months

·        The administration of SACRE had transferred to Democratic Services at City of York Council. The role of Democratic Services in delivering future meetings was explained

·        The delivery of support to schools would be delivered through the LA school effectiveness and achievement team


Resolved: That the update from the LA on Officer roles be noted.


Reason:     In order to be kept updated on SACRE officer roles.


Minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2020 pdf icon PDF 355 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2020.


As the meeting was not quorate this was carried forward to the next meeting.


The following update was given on matters arising at the previous meeting:

·        Membership would be included as an agenda item at the next meeting in Autumn.

·        The monitoring questionnaires were submitted at the previous SACRE meeting and would be revisited at the next meeting in Autumn.

·        The Annual Report had been circulated to Members.

·        The key training priorities would be included as an agenda item at the next meeting in Autumn.

·        Ofsted inspections had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic with monitoring inspections to resume September to December. It was noted that there had been  changes to the Ofsted framework and this had implications for RE.

·        An update on the Jewish Living Exhibition was given. This would be would be included as an agenda item at the next meeting in Autumn with an agreement that a follow up on having the exhibition at York Minster would be made.


Resolved: That minutes of the previous SACRE meetings held on 8 July 2019 and 7 January 2020 be approved at the next meeting.


Reason:     In order that the minutes of the meetings held on 8 July 2019 and 7 January 2020 be to be approved as a true and accurate record.


[Cllr Rowley left the meeting at 5.00pm]


Update from Chair on support for schools during this time


The Interim Chair provided an update on support to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic:

·        Signposting to national and local resources had been provided to schools and added to the City of York Council website.

·        National updates to the agreed syllabus had been sent to schools

·        The partnership with Learn Teach Lead RE  had some workshops online and the Humanist workshop had also moved online.

·        Online training had proved popular and may be an area for development.

·        The Interim Chair was thanked for her support to schools. It was noted that Heads of RE had received much support with RE and there had been the opportunity for teachers to plan for 2020/21 during limited pupil attendance due to COVID-19. It was noted that numbers of children did not have access to IT equipment at home to access online based school work.


Resolved: That the update on support for schools during the COVID-19 pandemic be noted.


Reason:     In order to be kept updated on support to schools.


Agreed Syllabus review pdf icon PDF 274 KB

To discuss SACRE responsibilities, timeline, and options.

(The options for Agreed Syllabus will be emailed to SACRE Members as a separate document)


Members considered a paper from the National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (NASACRE) on the Agreed Syllabus Conference (ASC). The Interim Chair outlined the statutory requirements for this. She explained that SACRE as a statutory body has a responsibility for producing the curriculum for RE for all maintained schools.  There was no requirement for an Academy to adopt a locally agreed syllabus. Academies may choose to adopt a different syllabus or develop their own, as long as it met the legal requirements for such a syllabus.  However, in York many academies did follow the York Agreed Syllabus. The syllabus needed to reviewed every five years with a new syllabus needed from 2021 onwards for which an ASC needed to be set up. In the past there had been ASC meetings set up following the same structure as SACRE meetings with representation from the four groups. There would need to be an ACS meeting set up in the Autumn term after which SACRE would agree the syllabus. This would be followed by the launch of the syllabus in the Spring and Summer terms.


The Interim Chair outlined the options available to Members as provided in a separate document circulated to Members. She reported that SACRE would need to consider feedback from schools (for example from a short questionnaire), the new Ofsted framework and the Commission for RE.


Members discussed the Agreed Syllabus Review and it was suggested that this could be discussed as art of the termly RE network meetings. Members acknowledged the engagement and commitment of RE teachers. It was noted that the current syllabus, that SACRE commissioned from RE Today, had been well received by teachers. The Interim Chair noted the need to consider how much change was necessary and what changes needed to be made as part of the decision making for the syllabus over the next five years.


Resolved: That;


                     i.        The statutory requirements for the Agreed Syllabus review be noted

                    ii.        Democratic Services arrange an ASC meeting for the Autumn term

                  iii.        The Interim Chair work with the LA to send the questionnaire out to schools and bring back to the Autumn term meeting.


Reason:     In order to meet the statutory requirements for the Agreed Syllabus review.


Any Other Business




Date and time of next meeting


To be arranged.


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