Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Suite - County Hall. View directions

Contact: Gerry Rufolo 01392 382299  Email:

Note No. Item




Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 February 2019 (previously circulated).


The Minutes of the meeting held on 5 February 2019 were 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.


No items were raised as a matter of urgency


Devon SACRE Membership

Ed Pawson to report


Mr Pawson reported on a vacancy within the Co-opted Group and introduced Rebecca Northcott who teaches at St Helen’s CoE Primary School, Abbotsham, Bideford, North Devon. Ms Northcott outlined her considerable experience as a RE Teacher and the curriculum development she was leading at the School and across Alumnis Multiple-Academy Trust.


Mr Northcott’ left the meeting to allow consideration of her nomination as a co-opted Member.


It was MOVED by Jude Taylorson, SECONDED by Councillor Squires and unanimously


RESOLVED that Rebecca Northcott be appointed as a Co-opted member of the Devon Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education.   


Ms Nortcott re-joined the meeting and accepted the appointment as a Co-opted Member.




Teacher Training through the Worldviews pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Ruth Flanagan to report


Members dispersed into break-out groups to discuss various handouts from Ruth Flanagan relating to: a working definition of worldviews, shared practice from the PGCE Primary Course (Exeter University) for identifying worldviews and the examining process of formulation and evolution of worldviews, and practical demonstration of these techniques through engaging in a sample of activities.


The Council reconvened and received a presentation from Ruth Flanagan on the PGCE Training for primary school teachers noting that only 4 hours formal teaching was allocated on the Course. Worldviews tools were available for RE and humanities teaching and provided a good framework for classroom teaching and discussion.


(N.B Presentation attached to the Minutes)


Further reference material available at:


The 'Radi-aid' video clip


The West Wing clip on maps of the world with Cartographers for Social Justice:


Extracted from the series West Wing, President Bartlet delivered a KO on an anti-gay practitioner highlighting the ridiculous practice of selecting quotes from the Bible to shore up irrational prejudices.




Apologia pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Ed Pawson to report


The Council received a paper by NASACRE on the duty to determine a RE Curriculum via an Agreed Syllabus Conference (Minute 81 below refers) formed by SACREs and its future role.


New Agreed Syllabus Launch Sessions

Ed Pawson to report


Ed Pawson reported on the success of the launch sessions held on 3rd, 4th and 5th June in Barnstaple, Exeter and Buckfast Abbey for the new Agreed Syllabus for Devon and Torbay (Plymouth and Cornwall were producing their own material). The launch events were attended by over 250 teachers. The new material would provide valuable support especially for non-specialist teachers and met a real need for consistent and inclusive teaching. The new material had been provided at no cost to all schools in Devon. Additional schemes of work for lesson by lesson planning could be purchased from RE Today. The first teaching using the new curriculum would commence in September 2019.


Members discussed aspects of the content of the Syllabus.


Members thanked the support of the Devon County Council’s in agreeing to underwrite the launch events which were likely to reach a financial breakeven position and Babcock LDP and in particular Sally Watts for her considerable work in organising the launch events. 




SACRE Development Plan pdf icon PDF 193 KB

Ed Pawson to report


The Council received the proposed Development Plan for 2019/20 covering Key Tasks, Target Groups, the Lead Officers and allocated days and timescales. The Development Plan focused on providing training for faith and belief visitors to schools, offering ongoing development of the Agreed Syllabus and review of collective worship, to be carried out in conjunction with Torbay and Plymouth SACREs.  


Jude Taylorson remarked on the difficulties in undertaking LTLR visits to Schools and it was suggested that technological arrangements (e.g. skyping) could be a way forward.  


Learn Teach Lead RE (LTLRE)

Tatiana Wilson to report


Tatiana Wilson gave an update on Learn Teach Lead RE (LTLRE):


       supporting the roll out of the new RE Agreed Syllabus through the October conference, hub meetings and the LTLRE website;

       hoping to secure an additional one-off grant to support the conference;

       establishing a new hub in mid-Devon due to demand from teachers; and

       still reliant on financial support from SACREs (including Devon SACRE) and Dioceses to sponsor hubs in order for it to function.


Update on RE in Church of England Schools: 


       Exeter Diocesan Board of Education agreed to underwrite the Devon Agreed Syllabus and had supported the launch days

       All 133 CofE VA, VC and Academies were being urged to follow the new RE Agreed Syllabus;

       There was a new Statement of Entitlement for RE in CofE schools which enabled schools to teach a greater proportion of RE that focused on faiths and beliefs other than Christian;

       Since September 2018 there was a new SIAMS inspection evaluation schedule for CofE schools. Schools were inspected on the quality of their RE provision every 5 years. So far in the 16 schools inspected to date RE had been found to be good or better in all.


Members agreed on the invaluable support LTLRE provided for RE Teachers and thanked the support of the Diocese in complementing the financial support given by this SACRE.


The Chair thanked Tatiana for the update.


National Developments in RE pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Ed Pawson to report


Ed Pawson presented a paper by NASACRE on reflections on the implications of the new Ofsted Framework and Handbook for inspection on Religious Education, published 14th May 2019 along with the inspection handbook.


The new Ofsted inspection framework being introduced in September 2019 would mark a significant change to the way subjects like RE were inspected:


       improve the way schools are held to account for RE

       two-day long school inspections

       greater emphasis on the curriculum

       broad and balanced

       academies and state-maintained schools (similar breadth and ambition)

       a small number of subjects will be chosen as a focus

       could include religious education.

       accountability for the provision of RE

       all pupils in maintained schools are required to study the basic curriculum, which includes RE

       teachers need to have expert knowledge of the subjects

       continued focus on pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, cultural and personal development.


The Ofsted framework presented the following challenges for Schools:


       Intent: why you are teaching what you are teaching?

       Implementation: how is your curriculum organised to make this happen?

       Impact: what difference does this make to the lives of children?

       We live in a diverse society. Our attitudes to beliefs and religion have change dramatically over the last 50 years. Are we preparing young people for the society in which they are growing up?

       Asking schools: what is the rationale for the way you teach RE? Where does it sit in your curriculum?


Members commended the approach which would increase accountability by schools and was timely in terms of the new Agreed Syllabus and remarked on the potential for improved social cohesiveness and wider community benefits. However, there remained limited time for Career Professional Development and training and additional resources were required, despite the excellent work of the LTLRE programme. 


Interfaith Partnership Work

Jeremy Roberts to report


The Chair reported on the previous success of the Interfaith events on end of life and assisted dying matters and arrangements for a similar event in North Devon planned for November 2019 for year 9 and 10 students.


Training for speakers was ongoing and included involvement by the Mosque where courses were being run. It was unfortunate that their representation on this SACRE remained vacant. The Members thanked Jude Taylorson for her work and lead within the Interfaith Partnership in organising the events.    


Holocaust Memorial Day

Ed Pawson to report


Ed Pawson reported on the plans and events for the Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2020 which would mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. In commemoration of this landmark anniversary, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) was launching an exciting new project for organisations, community groups and schools around the country to take part in entitled Memorial Flames.


The Members thanked Ed for his work and hope for the further involvement of primary school children






Hate Crime and RE

Keith Denby to report


Keith Denby reported on his work on the Devon and Cornwall Police Panel on Hate Crime. This covered


·         statistical analyses of incidents and identified trends and links to the school day and work with the HMIC and Ofsted to increase awareness and reporting of incidents; and 

·         the contribution RE could make in improving understanding and embracing difference.


Members also referred to the Stonewall champions across a MAT in regard to the LGBT community and the courageous advocacy work undertaken.


South West SACRE Conference: Monday 4 March 2019


Ed Pawson reported on the South West SACRE conference held on Monday 4th March 2019

at Dillington House, Somerset which had explored the impact of the RE Commission report on SACREs: Do SACREs support the recommendation that they transition into Local Advisory Networks for Religion and Worldviews.


Members who had attended reported on the informative presentations and questions posed by RE Today about the challenges for SACREs in addressing non-compliance by Schools.


The presentations made would be circulated to Members.



Future SACRE Meetings

Tuesday, 19 November 2019


To agree dates in February 2020 and June 2020


Tuesday, 19 November 2019, Thursday, 13 February 2020 and Thursday 25 June 2020.


Tatiana Wilson asked that at that the next meeting considered RE Quality Marks for Schools (to align with the new Agreed Syllabus) similar to a scheme adopted by the Bristol SACRE.