Agenda and minutes

Virtual meeting, Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education - Wednesday 1 December 2021 6.00 pm

Contact: Jo Partridge  020 8461 7694

No. Item




The Chairman welcomed Members to the meeting of the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education, which was held virtually via Webex.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Robert Evans, Councillor Pauline Tunnicliffe, Daniel Coleman and Dr Omar Taha.


Apologies were also received from Jared Nehra, LBB Director of Education and Julia Andrew, LBB Head of School Standards.


The Chairman welcomed Mrs Katie Burtonshaw to the meeting and introductions took place. The Chairman advised Members that Mrs Burtonshaw wished to join the SACRE as a representative of the Baptist faith. It was noted that Mrs Burtonshaw worked for the Spinnaker Trust, a Christian schoolswork charity – her role involved going into primary schools to help lead collective worship and support RE, as well as writing and preparing resources.


Following a brief discussion, SACRE Members agreed that Mrs Burtonshaw should be appointed to the other faiths group as a representative of the Baptist faith.


RESOLVED that Mrs Katie Burtonshaw join the Bromley SACRE as a representative of the Baptist faith.








No breaches of the GDPR were reported.




The Chairman noted that any matters arising would be covered during the meeting.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 7th July 2021 be confirmed as a correct record.




No determinations had been received.




The SACRE RE Adviser delivered a presentation to Members  explaining the current debate around the approach to teaching worldviews and demonstrated how this was included in the revised syllabus.


The Bromley RE Syllabus tried to engage pupils in understanding how worldviews were created. They were asked to think about what people believed, what they thought about the big questions, and how they lived their lives. Pupils were then asked to purposefully consider all these elements and then reflect on their own worldview. Pupils were to draw comparisons, recognising similarities and differences – there was also an aim to support pupils in their own spiritual, personal and moral development in understanding where these worldviews came from and how they may be affected. 


The SACRE RE Adviser highlighted that in any RE curriculum it was important that different worldviews or religions were not look at from a Eurocentric point of view. In the syllabus pupils may be looking at different religious scriptures or practices in people’s lives – but the aim was to go beyond that, and for pupils to understand the historical picture behind the examples and not just learn superficial facts about them.


Further information on religion and worldviews could be accessed via the following links:


The SACRE teacher representatives said that the syllabus was evolving, and this was very much how they were teaching RE – they no longer looked at one religion in isolation and were instead constantly making comparisons between different religions, and children were gaining access to different thoughts to inform their own worldviews.  It was noted that the new syllabus allowed children to develop their thinking, which was excellent.  The SACRE RE Adviser highlighted that non-religious worldviews were also included in the teaching of RE, one example of which was Humanism.



Additional documents:


The self-evaluation of the SACRE was a continuous process, which informed the development of the Committee and the Annual Report to the Department for Education each year. The Chairman requested, that following the meeting, Members look at the self-evaluation document provided, with the results from the previous year, and revisit the effectiveness of Bromley SACRE.


The Chairman suggested that Members could confer with other representatives from their respective groups as they had done in previous years. The SACRE RE Adviser reminded Members that they should refer to the SACRE Action Plan when carrying out their evaluation. It was agreed that the following SACRE Members would collate the feedback from their group:


Group A (other faiths and Christian denominations) – Deborah Corcoran

Group B (Church of England) – Reverend Roger Bristow

Group C (teachers) – Hannah Arnold

Group D (Councillors) – Councillor David Jefferys

    ACTION: SACRE Members


Members present agreed that they would be happy for the SACRE Clerk to share their email addresses with the other representative in their group.

    ACTION: Clerk


In response to a question, the SACRE RE Adviser said that the SACRE self-evaluation tool had been revised by NASACRE in the summer. It was therefore suggested that:

-  Group A members (representatives of other faiths and Christian denominations) look at section 5;

-  Group B members (the Church of England) look at section 4;

-  Group C members (teachers) look at section 3; and

-  Group D members (Councillors) look at section 1.


Members were requested to email the SACRE clerk their thoughts by 12.00pm on Thursday 30th December 2021, after which time the responses would be collated and provided to the SACRE RE Adviser.






The LBB Head of Service for Early Years, School Standards and Adult Education advised that the ‘REal’ resources received from SACRE Members had now been edited and formatted with a front cover and end title. An example of a video that had been received from a SACRE Member was shared with the Committee.


The SACRE RE Adviser noted that the videos should address one of four key questions:

-  “What do I believe about how the world began?” (Year 1);

-  “What buildings/places are important to me/do I use for worship, and how do the features or items here show what I believe [about God] and value as important?” (Year 3 and 5);

-  “What do I wear that shows my beliefs/values?” (Year 2); and

-  “What do I believe happens when we die?” (Year 5).


These were the areas of enquiry in the RE curriculum that were currently being trialled in schools. The LBB Head of Service for Early Years, School Standards and Adult Education emphasised that the short films received were providing teachers with useful information and resources to generate conversations with pupils.


In response to a question, the SACRE RE Adviser said that guidance had previously been circulated advising how these videos could be created, a copy of which could be appended to the minutes of the meeting (Appendix A). It was noted that they would like to receive as many contributions as possible, so teachers did not have to rely on textbooks to help pupils understand worldviews, as this was not engaging and did not show what real religion, being practiced by real people, was like. If SACRE Members did not feel comfortable recording a video they were encouraged to ask colleagues if they would be happy to assist – it was highlighted that ‘live’ access to these resources could not be made available until there was a fairer representation of more worldviews and religions.


The SACRE RE Adviser considered that if there were pupils in schools that practiced a particular religion or worldview, they could be invited to be involved in creating a video. One example had already been received from a parent that had prepared a video of herself and her child performing a Hindu worship – it was extremely helpful for pupils to see others in their own age group and was often more engaging.



The Bromley RE Calendar 2021-22 can be downloaded from the following page under ‘Additional Resources’:




The Chairman noted that SACRE Members had been provided with a link to download the Bromley RE Calendar 2021-22, located in the ‘Additional Resources’ section:


The SACRE RE Adviser highlighted that the themes for this year’s calendar were included in the draft newsletter to schools, and the competition would be launched in January 2022.




The SACRE RE Adviser informed Members that NASACRE had suggested a new format for SACRE Annual Reports, and a summary of these changes had been provided. It was highlighted that the revised format was not vastly different but there were a couple of additional sections. The SACRE RE Adviser would be drafting the Bromley SACRE Annual Report the following term and would include the completed SACRE self-evaluation document.


The Chairman noted that the key change was the suggested inclusion of an Executive Summary, if the Annual Report was over 10 A4 pages long. NASACRE considered that this may be helpful as a separate document, but some colleagues felt that this would just repeat the information provided in the rest of the report, and SACRE Members were asked for their thoughts. A Member said that they had no objections either way but highlighted that an Executive Summary may be the only part of a document that some people would read, even if it was just over 10 pages, and it could just be a short paragraph to provide the key points. The Chairman agreed that information provided in an Executive Summary could catch someone’s interest and encourage them to read further into the report. The SACRE RE Adviser said that this raised the question of who the Annual Reports were for – it was a requirement for them to be sent to the Department for Education, and they would be conducting research over the next couple of years on these reports, however they may not necessarily read by parents or schools. SACRE Members were advised that in previous reports, the Chairman had written an introduction which summarised the key highlights and could form an Executive Summary. The Chairman confirmed that he would be happy to continue to do this and following a brief discussion Members agreed to this approach being taken.



Additional documents:


Members had been provided with a summary of the actions for the previous academic year (September 2020-September 2021), and the SACRE Action Plan for the period September 2021-September 2022.


The SACRE RE Adviser highlighted that for the previous academic year nearly all actions had been marked in green as ‘complete’, except the ‘REal’ resources which had been discussed earlier in the meeting. It was noted that the final section of the document related to an ‘Interfaith Dialogue’ event which would be carried forward into the Action Plan for the current academic year. Funding to hold this event had been secured and plans were starting to be developed. The SACRE RE Adviser would be looking to work with the SACRE faith representatives and consider the big questions, so that in addition to individual video resources, a virtual meeting or debate could be recorded to support secondary pupils. The SACRE RE Adviser planned to collate some examples of questions which she would circulate to the faith representatives – representatives would be asked to provide their initial responses, and a script would then be produced. A meeting would be held and recorded via a virtual platform, and the responses to the questions could be shared with schools.


SACRE Members were advised that all three of the primary teacher network meetings had been held during the last academic year and had been reasonably successful. A SACRE teacher representative agreed that these events had been useful, focussing on the new RE syllabus and how it was evolving – the introduction of assessment tools for teachers would also be extremely valuable. As there were new teachers joining from session to session, certain areas would often need to be revisited. The SACRE RE Adviser informed Members that the primary network meeting in January 2022 would focus on a progression map for pupil progress.


The SACRE RE Adviser noted that the secondary network meeting scheduled for October 2021 had been marked in red on the Action Plan – this had initially been cancelled due to poor take-up, however it was believed that there had been an issue with communication, and this would go ahead the following term.


Councillor Kim Botting informed Members that she was President of the Royal British Legion, Orpington and enquired about the teaching of Remembrance Sunday in schools. A SACRE teacher representative advised that Remembrance Sunday usually coincided with inter-faith week, and involvement was encouraged in all schools. It was considered that inter-faith week was something that the SACRE could focus on more in future years. The SACRE RE Adviser said that lots of schools held assemblies and did activities in class around war and remembrance – however this may not be as a distinct RE lesson, as the concept of war would be covered in other areas of the curriculum, such as History and Geography.


SACRE Members had been provided with a copy of the first issue of a bi-annual Bromley Religious Education newsletter which had been produced for schools. The document had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.



6.00pm, Wednesday 23rd February 2022


6.00pm, Wednesday 23rd February 2022

Appendix A pdf icon PDF 302 KB