To submit for confirmation, the draft minutes of the previous meeting of the SACRE held on 23 November 2021.
The minutes of the previous meeting of the SACRE held on 23 November 2021 were presented and confirmed as correct.
Matters arising from the minutes:-
Item 3 –
• Reference was made to leaders in secondary schools sharing their expertise in planning the curriculum with the primary sector in South Anglesey. A question was raised whether engagement with the primary sector in currently taking place in the other four secondary schools on Anglesey?
The RE Advisor responded that two SACRE teachers are leaders in Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones and Ysgol Bodedern. She reported that she would seek clarification from GwE as to whether teacher expertise in RE is available in every school in Anglesey, and report back to the SACRE’s next meeting.
The Senior Primary Manager reported that GwE has established regional boards in each of the six Humanities Areas of Learning and Experience, and teachers from Anglesey schools sit on these boards. He highlighted the need for local collaboration between the secondary and primary sector, and stated that arrangements are already in place to address joint working.
It was noted that GwE will assign a Humanities representative to support schools, but specialist support in RVE will not be provided to the SACRE.
It was suggested that the SACRE requests specialist expertise from GwE, to fulfil its function in supporting schools. There needs to be equity in the Humanities AoLE, or RVE may be lost, if it is not given the same status as the other Humanities subjects.
RESOLVED that the RE Advisor contacts GwE to request information and clarity regarding arrangements between the secondary and primary sector in Anglesey schools.
• With reference to the SACRE’s concerns regarding home education, Councillor Gwilym Jones reported that this issue was raised in a meeting of the Schools Programme Review Panel on 25 November 2021. A presentation was also received, as confirmed in the Panel’s minutes below:-
• Reference was made to the discussion which took place during the previous Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) meeting held on the 23rd of November 2021, and reference made to an increase in the number of children and young people educated at home.
• It was noted that today is an opportunity for the Education Service to share the developments of the past few months with the Elected Members and also an opportunity for the Members to ask questions.
• This area was a bridge between the Education Service and Social Services and it was noted that there had been numerous comments regarding elective home education at previous Social Services Improvement Panel meetings. This is because of the potential for safeguarding issues arising.
• Reference was made to the procedures in place to work proactively so as to ensure robust safeguarding arrangements. Teulu Môn is a point of contact if there are concerns. Strategic focus also through the North Wales Safeguarding Children’s Board.
• North West Arrangements → Operational Level: new Elective Home Education Lead Teacher post created in February, 2021 (funded through Welsh Government grant funding) within the Education Welfare Team. Main objective of the role - to create positive contact with families. Processes and procedures in place since September, 2021 to assess the education provision of home educated children / young people. Collaboration between the Lead Teacher and the Education Quality Officer - this includes joint visits where appropriate.
• Contact Data: 92 children/ young people educated at home and 58 contacted by phone, email or visit by the Specialist Teacher. Aim -build positive contact and offer support to parents (e.g. via a Facebook page run by a group of parents etc.). Establishing and maintaining relationships with parents is key to the success of the contact. Welfare Officers check any welfare issues where concern arises on the educational side. The Council cannot enforce contact.
• Statutory requirement for the person responsible for teaching to provide an annual educational report. Many examples of high quality education being provided for children at home.
• Forum in place to discuss children where there is concern. Arrangements in place including the need to create action plans and an expectation to report / monitor and take further action as required. School Attendance Order is a possible step to take if there is cause for concern.
• Arrangements for additional learning needs also apply to this cohort of children / young people - this includes Additional Learning Plans and timely reviews.
• Extensive network of provision available to home educated children through the Additional Learning Needs and Inclusion Service such as psychologists, Careers Wales (post 16 provision), Health Board specialties etc.
• Details are anticipated from the Welsh Government in the New Year on what level of provision should be offered to home educated children / young people.
• Going forward - an objective of increasing the number of visits to home educated children. Also, review our arrangements in light of the Welsh Government's announcement on the nature of the support offered.
• The RE Advisor confirmed that she is in the process of distributing the £4,000 grant funding centrally between the 5 Anglesey schools within each catchment area.
Item 5 - The Chair reported that he has not yet received a nomination for a representative from the Union of Welsh Independents to join the SACRE.
RESOLVED that the Clerk to the SACRE contacts Rev Jim Clarke to request that he nominates a representative from the Church to sit on the
Item 6 – RESOLVED that the Clerk to the SACRE invites a member of the Church in Wales to attend the SACRE’s next meeting to present an
overview of the Pilgrimage Project.