- NASACRE funding report (pages xxx-xxx)
- Ofsted RE research review – can be viewed via the following link:
- Insight UK report on the state of Hinduism in Religious Education in UK schools – can be viewed via the following link:
SACRE Members had been provided with a copy of the NASACRE funding report, and links to the Ofsted RE research review and Insight UK report on the state of Hinduism in Religious Education in UK schools.
NASACRE funding report
Councillor Kim Botting provided a statement on behalf of Councillor Kate Lymer, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Families regarding the NASACRE funding report:
“I have spoken with Jared Nehra, LBB Director of Education, today and he feels confident that we hold up well against the survey and the recommended 2% of the Central School Services Block (CSSB). It was not 2% in terms of direct expenditure but if you add up the significant time spent by the School Standards team, as well as Democratic Services, on many different tasks and activities it is reasonable to assume that the total expenditure is more or less 2% of the CSSB.”
The Chairman advised Members that with regards to the expected level of funding that a SACRE should receive from their Local Authority, Bromley was at the level it should be. The SACRE RE Adviser highlighted that the report only referenced funding, however she considered that the London Borough of Bromley also provided real support in terms of time given and expertise. This had allowed Bromley SACRE to achieve much more than just its statutory requirements. The Chairman agreed and thanked the Local Authority for the support provided.
Ofsted RE research review
The SACRE RE Adviser delivered a presentation which is appended to the minutes at Appendix A.
Ofsted had visited a variety of schools to look at what and how RE was being studied in order to publish a review of what good RE looked like.
There were three types of knowledge which were important in RE, which were all components in the Bromley Agreed Syllabus:
- ‘substantive’ knowledge: key knowledge about various religious and non-religious traditions;
- ‘ways of knowing’: pupils learn ‘how to know’ about religion and non-religion; and
- ‘personal knowledge’: pupils build an awareness of their own presuppositions and values about the religious and non-religious traditions they study.
‘Substantive’ knowledge was the diverse lived experience, which linked to the SACRE RE Adviser’s request for ‘REal’ resources, and also included information about religions and worldviews being linked to key concepts and questions. Ofsted had raised concerns about schools studying one religion or worldview at a time, as that information was often forgotten when the pupils moved on to another. Diversity within religions also needed to be reflected and the context of how religions had come to be and how they had changed over time.
‘Personal knowledge’ was included in the Bromley Agreed Syllabus and was referenced as ‘reflecting’ within the pedagogical model. The Ofsted review had emphasised that this must be specifically in relation to key concepts of RE, if not it was considered to be Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) knowledge.
There were two main aspects related to ‘ways of knowing’ – ‘tools’ and ‘conversation’. An example of ‘tools’ was pupils understanding different interpretations and the way in which they were investigating and learning about religions. ‘Conversations’ referred to the use of thoughtful dialogue in the classroom and within the pupils learning, which was linked to the ‘REal’ resources.
With regards to monitoring progression, the Ofsted review had criticised the use of GCSE-style questions being used at Key Stage 3, and as the only form of assessment, as they did not consider context or the diversity of a religion. All the elements of the three types of knowledge were included in the spectrum of skills for the Bromley Agreed Syllabus.
The SACRE RE Adviser emphasised that the Bromley Agreed Syllabus reflected the Ofsted review, and was on target. If Ofsted visited a school, the school would need to explain why they were studying what they were and how the learning had developed over time.
Insight UK report on the state of Hinduism in Religious Education in UK schools
The SACRE RE Adviser noted that this report, which highlighted some of the key misrepresentations of Hinduism often found in schools, had been mentioned at the previous SACRE meeting. The SACRE RE Adviser was working with the primary school network to ensure that Hinduism was accurately represented. SACRE Members were informed that a secondary school had received a complaint from a Hindu parent, who had contacted the SACRE RE Adviser via the SACRE. The parent was happy with how the issue had been managed and the outcome had been positive.