Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Suite - County Hall

Contact: Gerry Rufolo 01392 382299  Email:

No. Item



Minutes of the meeting held on 14 June 2019 (previously circulated).


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 14 June 2019 were signed as a correct record.


Item Requiring Urgent Attention: Learn Teach Lead RE Funding

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


(An item taken under Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972)


The Chair agreed that the Council should consider as a matter of urgency the funding of two of the five Learn Teach Lead RE Hubs and formally confirm its support. 


AGREED that the Devon SACRE contribute £1,800 (to pay for two LTLRE hubs).


Devon SACRE Membership: Update

Ed Pawson to report


Ed Pawson welcomed Councillor Greg Sheldon to his first meeting and reported that the Muslim representative remained vacant and also welcomed Rosemary Khreisheh as a co-opted member who had previously represented the Muslim community.  


Agreed Syllabus Update

Ed Pawson to report


Following the success of the launch sessions Ed Pawson reported on developments as follows:


·         training events: introducing the new RE syllabus held in Cullompton and in September 2019 which were well attended and received by teachers from Devon and Torbay and another was planned for 6 December 2019;

·         development courses on Understanding Christianity had been held and planned: 9/10/19 (Plymouth), 3/12/19 (Exeter) and 31/1/20 (Plymouth), and

·         RE conferences had been arranged for 3/6/20 (Secondary) and 10/6/20 (Primary) both in Cullompton.


Members noted the building momentum and positive feedback to date and that presentations by Ed Pawson to the Devon Association of Secondary Heads (DASH) and Devon Association of Primary Heads (DAPH) on the new Syllabus had also been well received.


There was continuing work to develop a local element within the Syllabus for example relating to St Boniface as the patron Saint of Devon.  


Further material, (including key stage 3 information) was available on the LTLRE Website. 



Raising the Profile of RE, Collective Worship and SACRE in Devon

Ed Pawson to report


Ed Pawson reported on the role of the SACRE Devon: it had a statutory role to:

       support the teaching and learning of RE; and

       monitor standards and compliance with the law in Devon schools.


There was a legal requirement to teach RE to all pupils in all state funded schools


Monitoring of RE was carried out on a 5 year rolling programme through analysis of school websites and Ofsted reports, and through focussed school visits by SACRE as necessary.


Members suggested further presentations be made to DASH and DAPH  to raise the profile of SACRE and to underline the responsibilities of schools (as above) and through the Governor publications, News Letters and possibly directly to the Chairs of Governors and via Face Book sites. 


The Syllabus (described below) had been despatched to all schools with availability on various websites and noted the valuable contribution in this by the LTLRE visits by the volunteers, despite the limited capacity and resources.


Kew aspects of the new Syllabus were:    


·         For teaching from September 2019

·         Covering all Key Stages

·         Advisable for ALL schools (inc Church schools and academies)

·         Compliant with the new Ofsted pattern of Intent, Implementation, Impact

·         Written by RE Today (high quality national provider of educational resources)

·         Containing detailed medium-term planning for EYFS to KS3

·         Supported by high quality resources

·         Additional SoW can be purchased to support detailed lesson planning

·         Embracing the teaching of major religions and worldviews

·         Encouraging enquiry-led learning

·         Preparing young people to participate in an open, articulate and understanding society


Mr Pawson also reported on an event at Lambeth Palace on Understanding Christianity published by RE Today and the positive uptake by Church Schools in Devon and the grant funding available for non-church schools, details of which would be circulated to schools in due course.



Exam feedback and Schools Monitoring pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Ed Pawson to report


Ed Pawson reported on the Key Stage 4 2018/19 and the Full Course (9-5) Outcomes (graphs attached to these minutes).


The key features were;


·         the number of schools where no RE was being offered;

·         the higher number of entries in Devon compared to national figures and relatively poorer outcomes in Devon;

·         it appeared that smaller cohorts nationally meant better outcomes but more pupils in Devon were experiencing RE teaching, and 

·         the decreasing number of entries in Devon over the two years and the limited teaching time schools were able to provide and the impact this made on results.


Letters had or were being, sent from the Chair to schools to congratulate them for entering significant numbers of students and improving grades; and where necessary, to remind them of the need to provide high quality RE experiences for all students at KS4.  Where issues had been identified Schools would be visited and supported to develop and improve.


Priority would be given to those Schools where support was required noting the legal and academy (where applicable) funding requirements. The new Ofsted inspection regime could involve a ‘deep dive’  (for VC (but not VA) church schools) by the inspectors.  Members noted also the influence parent governors could exert and the various data sources available for Ofsted (pre-inspection).   




Reviewing Guidance on Collective Worship pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Ed Pawson to report


Ed Pawson reported on the current SACRE Guidance on Collective Worship and the need for  a review and that a Working Party (across Devon, Torbay and Plymouth schools) would be set up to include teachers from community schools and would be meeting in March 2020. Current guidance was dated and extended to over 15 pages (where other examples were considerably shorter). A new version could outline the key points supported by appendices as necessary.


Ed Pawson also reported on recent court case which involved the need for schools to provide a meaningful alternative of equal educational worth for those pupils who withdrew from assembly which involved a daily act of Christian worship.


(N.B. Attached Notes from the Collective Worship Panning Meeting held at the rising of this Meeting)



Learn Teach Lead RE Updates

Tatiana Wilson to report


Ed Pawson reported on the excellent feedback from 2019 SW Peninsula LTLRE 8th annual conference ‘Don’t fence me in - Religion and Worldviews: beyond stereotypes towards lived experiences’ with notable keynote speakers including Barbara Wintersgill on Putting the Big Ideas for RE into practice’.


Other Learn, Teach, Lead RE developments included:

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

       an additional one-off grant to support the conference;

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

       reliance on financial support from SACREs (including Devon SACRE) and Dioceses to sponsor hubs in order for it to function and Devon SACRE’s contribution of £1,800 (to pay for 2 hubs) (Minute 91 above refers).


Members referred to the limited time for teachers (particularly in rural areas) to access the post school LTLRE sessions and the need to inform Heads of their value of the cost-free CPD opportunities they provided. This could be raised at future DASH and DAPH meetings and through articles in the News Letters. 


National Developments: Ofsted and RE

Tatiana Wilson to report


Ed Pawson  reported on the new Ofsted inspection framework which had been introduced in September 2019 and marked a significant change in the way subjects like RE were inspected. He reported on Schools which had been inspected by Ofsted under the new arrangements and the findings ranging from Good, Required Improvement and Inadequate. Members noted the importance of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural teaching applicable across all subjects. The SACRE and Diocese (where applicable) would monitor trends and provide support as necessary and Members referred to the capacity issues and the support Babcock and the County Council could potentially provide. 


Members agreed that the SACRE’s Development Plan should refer to capacity issues in relation to support, intervention and potential funding difficulties involved in the provision of expert intervention. 


Ed Pawson also referred to Barbara Wintersgill’s ‘Big Idea: Transforming RE into a rigorous and relevant subject for study in the 21st century’ and her installation into the Order of St Boniface for her outstanding contribution to faith, religion and teaching. The new agreed Syllabus would be monitored using the ideas and principles developed by Barbara.  


Interfaith Week and Holocaust Memorial Day Planning pdf icon PDF 245 KB

Jeremy Roberts and Ed Pawson to report (documents attached).


Ed Pawson reported on the plans and events for the Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) January 2020 (details and programme of events attached).


Members also reported on the success of the Devon Faith and Belief Forum Interfaith week and events held from 9 November 2019 covering topics:


·         “Universal Peace Prayers for World Peace” to mark the start of Interfaith Week – led by Ravi Nathwani;

·         “On becoming a multi-faith Peacemaker in Jerusalem today – the spiritual journey of a Rabbi’s daughter” – Hanna Jaffe;

·         “Dying Matters” – A day conference for schools on living and dying well, bringing together health professionals and members of diverse faith and belief communities to discuss what was meant by “Dying Well” for schools held at Bideford College; 

·         “Ask a Muslim” – Members of the Inclusive Mosque group hosted an informal session about Islam;

·         “A day of Building Bridges and Valuing Visions” open to all aged between 13 and 20, and marked the re-launch of DIFFY (Devon Interfaith Forum for Youth); “An Interfaith Week Celebration” and

·         a service to mark and celebrate Week at the Unitarian Church, Notte Street, Plymouth.




Future SACRE Meetings and Dillington Conference

Thursday, 13th February 2020and  Thursday, 25th June 2020


SW SACRE conference 2nd March 2020



Thursday, 13 February 2020 and Thursday, 25 June 2020 at County Hall, Exeter 


SW SACRE conference, Monday, 2nd March 2020