Agenda item

Minutes - 9 July 2019

  To submit for confirmation, the draft minutes of the previous meeting of the SACRE held on 9 July 2019.


  To discuss any matters arising from the minutes.


The minutes of the previous meeting of the SACRE held on 9 July 2019 were presented and confirmed as correct.


Matters arising from the minutes:-


  It was confirmed that the SACRE members have agreed to include members from other religious denominations on the Committee. 

  With reference to the SACRE’s two vacant seats, the Chair reported that he would pursue the matter of the vacancy for an elected Member of the Council.  Rev Jim Clarke has offered to raise the issue of the vacant seat for a representative from the Presbyterian Church with the Church.

  It was confirmed that the Clerk to the SACRE has targeted one catchment area in relation to requesting schools’ self-evaluation reports.

  It was noted that the SACRE’s response to the questionnaire on the Draft Curriculum for Wales 2022 has been forwarded to Welsh Government.

  The Chair and Clerk to the SACRE provided feedback from the WASACRE meeting they attended in Conwy on 28 June 2019.  It was noted that WASACRE has been lobbying the Minister for Education to invest money to fund consultants to provide specialist advice and guidance to SACREs across Wales in relation to the new curriculum.  Discussion also focused on the work involved in preparing the Supporting Framework for RE to accompany the new curriculum.

  The Chair confirmed that he will be visiting Ysgol Talwrn next week to observe Collective Worship at the school.  He urged the SACRE members to arrange visits to local schools in their areas; to observe Collective Worship sessions, view pupils’ workbooks, speak to the children, then report back to the SACRE on their findings. 


The SACRE discussed the option of adopting a more structured, formal approach to record school visits, and provide feedback for monitoring purposes.  It was suggested that the template prepared previously by Miss Bethan James to record Collective Worship be reviewed and updated to record school visits.


  The RE Advisor shared copies of last year’s Welsh and English RE GCSE and A Level Philosophy and Ethics examination papers to familiarise the SACRE with the Agreed Syllabus. 


At the previous meeting of the SACRE, the RE teacher representatives had expressed concern that the delivery of the RE syllabus had become more challenging, due to a shortage of Welsh resources and the onerous workload of RE teachers compared to other subjects.  It was noted that the local press had recently reported on the lack of Welsh teaching resources, which had been highlighted by the Gwynedd SACRE.


Concerns were raised regarding the provision of RE resources and its long term impact on schools, the disparity between examination papers, and the volume of work in the RE syllabus compared to other subjects eg History and Geography.  The SACRE felt strongly that the above issues should be raised with WJEC and the WASACRE.  The SACRE agreed that the above issues be raised by Mr Rheinallt Thomas at the WASACRE’s next meeting.


The SACRE expressed concern at the lack of teachers who are currently being trained to teach Humanities as a subject, which will have negative impact on RE in the future.


The Clerk to the SACRE reported that Miss Bethan James, the SACRE’s former advisor, has suggested that a teacher representative from a non-church primary school be appointed to the SACRE to strengthen the relationship between the SACRE and schools.




  That the Chair raises the issue of a vacant seat on the SACRE for an elected Member with the Head of Democratic Services.

  That Rev Jim Clarke contacts the Presbyterian Church to request that the Church nominates a representative to join the SACRE.

  That members continue to undertake visits to local schools to observe Collective Worship, and to use the template previously prepared by Miss Bethan James.

  That the Clerk, on behalf of the SACRE, writes to the WJEC to express concerns regarding the disparity between examination papers and the volume of work in the RE syllabus compared to other subjects.

  That the issue of disparity between RE GCSE and A Levels compared with other subjects be raised by Mr Rheinallt Thomas at WASACRE’s next meeting.

  That the Clerk and teacher representatives discuss the content of the letter to the WJEC regarding the RE syllabus and teachers’ heavy workload. 

  The Clerk to look into the possibility of including a non-church teacher representative from the primary sector on the SACRE.

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