Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Jo Partridge  020 8461 7694

Items
No. Item

12.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor David Jefferys, Patricia Colling, Ray Hagley and Sanjay Gupta. Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Sarah Phillips.

 

Councillor Keith Onslow apologised for having to leave the meeting early due to other commitments.

13.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

None.

14.

A) MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12TH JULY 2017 pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 12th July 2017 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

B) MATTERS ARISING

 

Minute 6: School Visits

The Chairman advised members that, due to his other work commitments, Mr Kieran Osborne had stood down from his role as LBB Educational Advisor. This had therefore impacted on the SACRE, and school visits had not been able to take place during the autumn term. The Chairman had spoken to the Headteacher at Cudham CE Primary School, who had invited SACRE members to visit the school, and advised her that this would not currently be appropriate until a replacement Advisor with RE expertise was in post.

 

The Chairman advised SACRE members that in the absence of the LBB Educational Advisor, he would be drafting a letter encouraging schools to engage with the SACRE. This would be circulated in the School’s Circular bulletin in January 2018, and would include a copy of the collective worship documents.

 

Minute 8: SACRE Self Evaluation

The Chairman informed SACRE members that information regarding Birmingham SACRE had proved difficult to source, as there was little information provided on the Local Authority website.

15.

ORAL UPDATE & PUBLICATIONS pdf icon PDF 877 KB

A.)  SACRE Advisor

 

B.)  Humanist Representative

 

C.)  SACRE Annual Report

 

D.)  Commission on Religious Education – Interim Report: Religious Education for All

 

E.)  REC / NATRE – The State of the Nation: A report on Religious Education provision within secondary schools in England

 

  This document can be accessed via the following link:

  https://www.natre.org.uk/uploads/Free%20Resources/SOTN%202017%20Report%20web%20version%20FINAL.pdf

 

Minutes:

A)  SACRE ADVISOR

 

The Chairman informed SACRE members that a replacement RE Advisor was needed, and it was intended that Bromley SACRE would have one. There were two options that he wished to put to members so that they could be considered and explored.

 

The first option was the suggestion that Bromley SACRE could share a RE Advisor with the London Borough of Bexley. These boroughs often worked together, and faced similar financial pressures. Bromley SACRE member, Virginia Corbyn, was the RE Advisor for Bexley SACRE, and the Chairman had spoken with her regarding this suggestion. The second option was to supplement the RE Advisor role, and provide support from elsewhere in the form of secondary RE teachers offering assistance. The Chairman had briefly discussed this with SACRE member, Jed Stone, who said he was keen to take on this role.

 

As school visits took place during the school day, SACRE members queried if a secondary school teacher could be spared by their school to attend. The Chairman responded that it was proposed that the school would be approached to release the RE teacher for the time needed for the visits to take place. Mr Stone said that he expected this to be possible, but noted that his Headteacher had not yet been approached regarding this.

 

One SACRE member considered that the precedent had been set by a previous RE Advisor, who had covered the same role for three of four boroughs. There had been a number of mergers of functions across Local Authorities, and they did not see a problem with Bromley and Bexley SACREs sharing a RE Advisor. The LB Bromley should not be looking to economise on the role, they should look to enhance it and offer a boost to the allowance. It was crucial to keep school visits going, and have the ability to offer advice to schools, and therefore both options were supported.

 

The Chairman advised SACRE members that a major piece of work that would need to be undertaken by the RE Advisor was the revision of the Agreed Syllabus. The Chairman had received an offer from the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE), to present to Bromley SACRE what they could offer in terms of a pre-produced syllabus that could be tailored to meet the needs of the LB Bromley. It was suggested that NATRE could be invited to attend the next meeting of the Bromley SACRE, but it was expected that what they would offer was likely to be expensive. Mrs Corbyn informed members that Kent County Council had recently purchased a RE syllabus from RE Today. She felt it was very good, but agreed that it would be expensive for the LB Bromley to purchase as the cost was dependent on the number of schools within a Local Authority. It was noted that the LB Bexley were in a similar position to the LB Bromley, and were also starting to revise their syllabus. The LBB Head of Service for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

SCHOOL VISITS

Minutes:

School visits had been discussed under minute item 14 B) Matters Arising.

17.

SACRE DRAFT ACTION PLAN pdf icon PDF 16 KB

Minutes:

SACRE members were provided with a copy of the SACRE Draft Action Plan for 2017-2018, which included suggested amendments discussed at the meeting on 12th July 2017. The Chairman asked members to consider how the objectives could be achieved, as it was noted that discussions regarding a replacement RE Advisor were still to take place. SACRE members were asked to go away and think about what they could do personally to facilitate the SACREs objectives, and contact the Chairman to advise him. Members would need to be available for school visits; and if a conference for RE teachers were to be organised, who could co-ordinate it and who would be willing to attend.

 

With reference to objective number 6 – ‘Provide information on curriculum to schools’, teacher representatives queried the use of the Fronter system. Their schools did not use it, and felt it was becoming defunct, and it was therefore not the best channel to provide information. The LBB Head of Service for Early Years, Schools Standards and Adult Education asked if there was another platform that the schools used that would be preferable. Teacher representatives said that if schools were part of Academy Trusts, they were likely to have their own hubs, so it was felt that information should be circulated directly to schools for them to decide where it should be stored and how it was accessed.

 

Teacher representatives said that the Revised Agreed Syllabus needed to be easy to access in all schools, and suggested that it should be published within a specific SACRE area of the Local Authority website. The LBB Head of Service for Early Years, Schools Standards and Adult Education said that this would be explored – either within the LB Bromley website, or linked to the My Life website. Another alternative to websites could be a Google platform, which allowed data to be stored, and schools could be provided with membership details to access it. The Chairman noted that the current Agreed Syllabus had been provided to schools on a CD-ROM, and it was agreed that this would not be done in the future.

ACTION: LBB Head of Service for Early Years, Schools Standards and Adult Education

18.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Islamic Competition

Minutes:

Mr Mahmood advised members that the prize giving for the Islamic Competition had taken place at Darul Uloom on Thursday 9th November 2017. The event had been as successful as ever, and the Mayor of Bromley had attended to present the prizes.

 

Thirty pupils, aged 11 and 12 year olds, from five schools; Hayes School, Harris Academy Orpington, Bullers Wood School, Bishop Justus CE School and Watford Grammar School for Boys, had taken part in this years’ competition. The school projects were based on the concept of ‘The True Meaning of Islam’. As this year had marked the 20th anniversary of the competition, Mr Mahmood had invited previous winners back to attend the ceremony. Students from Bullers Wood School (2014), Hayes School (2015) and Harris Academy Orpington (2016), delivered mature presentations on the theme ‘My Reflections about Islam’. The students were awarded with a special certificate for their contribution to the evening.

 

Mr Stone said that it had been a splendid evening, and the best prize giving he had attended. Mr Mahmood was thanked for making the competition such a success over the years, and members expressed their gratitude for a lovely event. This was echoed by the Chairman, who said it was a wonderful welcome from Darul Uloom. It had been good to hear what previous winners had gained from the project, and what it had taught them in their approach to, and reflection of, their learning.

 

The Chairman questioned why there was only one school faith event that took place across the borough. Mr Mahmood commented that in the time that he had been a member of Bromley SACRE, he could only recollect one other competition that members of the Jewish Community had organised for primary school aged pupils. It was noted that it took an enormous amount of work to organise school competitions, and they relied on enthusiastic teachers to encourage their students to be involved.

 

SACRE members suggested that as the Islamic Competition was for pupils in Year 8, an essay competition could be introduced for sixth formers to write a detailed and philosophical piece on ‘the place of religion in the modern world’.

 

 

Reverend Varney informed SACRE members of some work that he had been involved in as part of Bromley’s Three Faiths Forum. This was an active inter-faith group that had representatives from the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths, who had met throughout the year. In terms of practical work, they had been collecting hampers for distribution through Citizens UK, to refugees that had been settled within the London Borough of Southwark.

19.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Wednesday 28th February 2018

 

 

All meetings to start at 6pm

Minutes:

Wednesday 28th February 2018

 

 

All meetings to start at 6pm

 

Original Text: