Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest


Apologies for absence were received and accepted for Keith Albans, Ian Hodgson and Katherine Harper. There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous SACRE meeting held on 14 October 2020.



Resolved: That the minutes of the previous SACRE meeting held on 14 October be deferred for approval at the next meeting as the incorrect minutes had been circulated with the meeting agenda.



Membership Update pdf icon PDF 101 KB

A verbal update on SACRE membership will be given.


An update on membership was given, under which it was confirmed that:

·        Kate Bailey (Deputy Director and Director of RE, Diocese of Middlesbrough) had replaced Keith Duffy

·        Deborah Evans (Religious Society of Friends) had replaced Tracey Copestake

·        Imam Abid Salik (Imam at York Mosque) had joined the SACRE


Members warmly welcomed Kate Bailey, Deborah Evans and Imam Salik and thanked Keith Duffy and Tracey Copestake for their work on the council. The Chair noted that membership was being examined, particularly in relation to the Free Churches.


Resolved: That the membership update be noted.


Reason:     In order that the membership includes Members of different Faiths.


[Ben Rich joined at 17:49]


National Data pdf icon PDF 623 KB

Members will receive a report on the national data for GCSEs and A Levels.


John Thompson updated Members on pupil data noting that the data for York schools could not yet be reported. However, the report to Members used the information provided by the Religious Education Council of England and Wales and the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education gives the national picture for A-level and GCSE entries in 2020. He gave an update on Religious Studies A-Level, GCSE, noting key outcomes for both. An update on the 2021 examinations for both was give.


Resolved: That;

                             i.        The update on National Data be noted.

                            ii.        That when available, the analysis of the comparative data be circulated to Members.


Reason:     In order to be kept updated on National Data.


[Deborah Evans left the meeting at 18:37]



Approval of Annual Report pdf icon PDF 543 KB

To receive and approve Annual Report. This is a requirement at this meeting in order to meet the national deadline for final approval to send to the Secretary of State.



John Thompson (LA Advisor to SACRE) outlined the Annual Report to Members. This report provided members and NASACRE with details of the work of the City of York Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) from January to December 2020. The report detailed membership of SACRE, outcomes of SIAMS Religious Education inspections of two primary schools, the monitoring of Collective Worship and update on the work of SACRE, 2020 RE exams, methods of teaching, and complaints and determinations.


Resolved: That the Draft Annual Report be approved.


Reason:     In order to meet the national deadline for final approval to send to the Secretary of State.



SACRE Development Plan

Verbal report on progress towards the Development Plan and review of priorities in light of pandemic arrangements.



This was included as part of Section 5 of the Annual Report which had been outlined under that item.


Resolved: That progress towards the Development Plan be noted as part of the update in Section 5 of the Annual Report.


Reason:     In order to be updated on progress towards the Development Plan.



Monitoring of Standards pdf icon PDF 508 KB

A verbal update will be given on the current context of Ofsted Reports, Local Authority monitoring and SACRE support.


Additional documents:


Members were provided with an update on the RE Self Evaluation Primary and Secondary questionnaires. On the questionnaires, schools were advised that York SACRE had a statutory responsibility to monitor provision for Religious Education in the city and could use the information from the questionnaire results to make recommendations to City of York Council about the strengths and weaknesses of that provision, how good practice might be shared and what support might be offered. Subject leaders in primary and secondary schools were requested to complete the questionnaires.


Resolved: That the update on the RE Self Evaluation (Primary) questionnaire be noted.


Reason:     In order that standards are monitored.





National RE and Collective Worship updates

To receive a report detailing NASACRE updates.


Please see:

THEOS Worldviews in Religious Education






Olivia Seymour reported that Dr Richard Queh had been appointed as the new HMI Subject Lead for RE. She noted that she would bring a brief report on NASACRE work to the next meeting.


Resolved: That the national RE and Collective Worship be noted.


Reason:     In order to be kept updated on national RE and Collective Worship developments.



Correspondence on complaints / determinations

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



Members were informed that a complaint had been received from a parent of a child in Year 8 regarding the teaching of capital punishment as part of the school’s RE curriculum. It was confirmed that such complaints would be considered through schools’ own complaints policies and the role of SACRE in advising on curriculum specific matters was clarified.


[Olivia Seymour left the meeting at 18:48]


A number of comments were made in relation to the complaint and they were advised that the parent had been sent information on the syllabus. Members discussed the impact of schools relationships with parents on the complaints process.


[Olivia Seymour rejoined the meeting at 18:52]


A Member noted their negative experience of their religion being taught in schools. John Thompson requested that Members advise him of experiences like this.


Members were reminded of the 11 December 2020 deadline for the submission of their responses to the review consultation which had been emailed to them previously.


Resolved: That Members be updated on complaints.


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



Urgent Business


There were no items under urgent business.



Future meeting dates


3 March 2021 at 5.30pm.


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