Agenda and minutes

Venue: Exeter Mosque, 13 York Rd, Exeter EX4 6PG

Contact: Gerry Rufolo 01392 382299  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 15 November 2017, attached


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 15 November 2017 be signed as a correct record.


Items Requiring Urgent Attention

Items which in the opinion of the Chair should be considered at the meeting as matters of urgency.


There was no matter raised as a matter of urgency.


Devon SACRE Membership

Mr Pawson to report


Mr Pawson reported the appointment to the Council of Fuad Abdo as the Muslim representative and welcomed him to his first meeting.  Fuad had recently been appointed to the post of Exeter Mosque Centre Manager.



Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) - January 2018

Mr Pawson to report.


Mr Pawson reported on the very successful Holocaust Memorial Day, themed ‘The Power of Words’.   The whole event had been hugely inspiring and it had been particularly impressive to see so many school age children involved.  Letters of thanks had been received from the Lord Mayor of Exeter and Dr Phil Norrey, Chief Executive of Devon County Council.


The Committee wished to express their gratitude to Mr Pawson and the HMD Task Group for their hard work and commitment in the preparation and organisation, and to Mr Street from Exeter City Council for his co-ordination of the Cathedral event.


Mr Roberts reported that the Dean of Exeter, the Very Reverend Jonathan Greener, had expressed a wish to become involved in next year’s event.


Photographs for the ‘Inherit the Truth’ event at the Cathedral could be seen at:











Learn/Teach/Lead Religious Education (LTLRE): hub groups update and request for Devon SACRE to make further contributions to fund hubs for Devon schools

Mrs Wilson to report.


Mrs Wilson reported that, in Devon, LTLRE had started around five years ago and was a learning partnership project for RE with a focus on creating a community of enquiry and professional development across the peninsula and was available to state funded primary, secondary, special and private schools.  Devon had five LTLRE hubs, namely North, South East, West and Exeter. An Annual Conference was held in the Autumn of each year and Mr Denby advised that LTLRE was seen as exemplar and highly praised by author Alan Brine. Indeed, LTLRE had become a national voice having been invited to sit on national panels. 


Mrs Wilson further explained that LTLRE was now requesting further funding from Devon SACRE to sponsor two hubs at a cost of £900, to cover supply and Hub meeting expenses,

which would increase SACRE support from £500 to £1800 a year. Cornwall, Plymouth and Torbay had each secured funding.


It was MOVED by Mrs Khreisheh, SECONDED by Mr Nathwani and


RESOLVED that sponsorship of two hubs at a total cost of £1800 a year be agreed in principle, subject to detailed accounts being made available and considered at the next meeting.



Interfaith Focus: Interfaith Conference 2018: Dying well: Shared perspectives on death and dying from faith and belief communities

Mr Roberts to report.



Mr Roberts reported on planning for the 2018 Conference and the following was noted:


·         that The Revd Canon Dr John Searle OBE could be a useful contact;

·         reference to the Royal College of Psychiatry’s interest group on Interfaith;

·         the Conference would have a secondary educational focus as well as a community focus;

·         there would be a workshop on 10 November; and

·         working with Exeter Hospice


Reviewing SACRE documentation: RE Agreed Syllabus

Mr Pawson to report.


Mr Pawson suggested that a task group be set up at the next meeting to work on the Agreed Syllabus Conference.   Collaborative working with Torbay and Plymouth was ongoing but needed to be widened.  National discussions were also taking place.


RESOLVED that contact be made with Cornwall and Somerset SACREs to ascertain their interest in working with Devon SACRE in reviewing the Agreed Syllabus. 



National Developments: RE Commission, Ofsted


Mr Pawson to report


Mr Pawson reported on an ITV South West TV interview with 17 year old Alizeh Abdul Rahman and her campaign to highlight the benefits of religious education in schools.  The interview could be seen at the Fixers website below.  It was suggested to involve Fixers in the planning for next year’s Holocaust Day


Mr Pawson also reported on the Commission on Religious Education’s aims, to review the legal, education and policy frameworks for RE and its interim report and key recommendations which included:

·         a National Entitlement for Religious Education;

·         holding schools to account for their provision and quality of RE;

·         a renewed and expanded role for SACREs;

·         a national plan for improving teaching and learning in RE; and

·         exploring right to withdrawal.


The final report was due to be published in September and a copy sent to the Secretary of State.


Mr Pawson apprised Members of the correspondence between Gill Tewkesbury, Peter Heaton-Jones MP and the Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards, raising concerns at the low number of children being taught RE in schools.  The Minister’s letter explained that an Independent Commission on RE, partly informed by information in the ‘State of the Nation’, was currently reviewing the delivery of RE in schools and recently published its interim report, with a final report due next year.


RESOLVED that a letter be sent in response to the Minister of State for School Standards reiterating the concerns raised.











Monitoring RE in Devon schools

Mr Pawson to report


SACRE members were asked to undertake some monitoring of RE on the curriculum from their local school websites and to feedback their findings to Mr Pawson.  All schools had to have a curriculum statement available online.  Mr Pawson would circulate some instructions on how to search the school websites.


It was questioned if there was any data available for special schools and it was suggested to raise this point with the Sentient Trust, who dealt with special schools.


Launch of RE definitions

Mr Pawson to report




Mr Pawson advised of the launch of a new website and app for RE teachers giving them handy access to the pronunciation and meaning of more than 200 key terms, covering all religions and beliefs.



Planned CPD for Devon schools

Mr Pawson to report


Planned courses for RE CPD:


·         Primary course – 1 March 2018

·         GCSE updates for North Devon schools, Ilfracombe Academy – 27 March 2018

·         Raising the Grade at GCSE, Tiverton Hotel – 11 June 2018


Further information on courses and bookings were available at


SW SACRE Conference: Monday 5th March 2018, Dillington House

Mr Pawson to report


Those interested in attending the SW SACRE Conference on 5 March 2018 were Mrs T Wilson, Mrs J Taylorson and Mr J Roberts. 


The course was at Dillington House in Somerset and car sharing was suggested.


Next Meeting

The morning meeting will be followed by lunch and an afternoon training session to discuss options for the review of the Agreed Syllabus


RECOMMENDED that the next meeting be held on Tuesday, 5 June 2018 at County Hall, Exeter


Tuesday 5 June 2018 at County Hall, Exeter at 10.00 am.  


Introduction to Exeter Mosque

Imam Mohamed Abrah to report.



Imam Mohamed Abrah was welcomed to the meeting and gave an introduction to the Exeter Mosque.  He explained that around 4000-5000 visitors were welcomed to the Mosque each year and, although its resources were limited, it did have many volunteers.  There were approximately 3000 Muslims in and around Exeter.


The Imam advised that the Mosque had various safeguarding policies in force and that DBS checks were carried out on members of the Mosque in contact with children.


The Mosque also carried out school visits and Open Days were held every few months.  The next Open Day was on 18 February 2018 from 2 – 5 pm and would be open to all.  


SACRE extended their thanks to the Imam for speaking to the meeting and for allowing the Mosque to be used for its meeting.