Agenda item


To review feedback from the 2018 conferences and consider arrangements for the 2019 conferences. To comment on the draft Primary RE survey.


SACRE received a report concerning feedback from the 2018 primary and secondary RE conferences. The report contained details of the feedback together with a list of attendees at the conferences since 2011. It also provided the draft primary RE survey for SACRE to consider and proposed arrangements for professional development in 2018-2019.


Stephen Pett, RE Today, introduced the report and advised SACRE that RE Today had won the tender for the provision of RE support to the Council over the next two years in Herefordshire. As part of its contract with the Council there would be the provision of webinars  to support staff training in schools; it was yet to be determined whether the webinars would be broadcast live to enable interaction with participants or record a webinar for circulation with schools and interested parties. Mr Pett also introduced the Primary RE Survey which had been considered previously and suggested that a further question to schools could be to ask what they would consider the best way to receive training in future. 


SACRE considered the feedback from the 2018 conferences and professional development and raised the following points:


·         The feedback concerning the half day conferences was mixed and it was explained that schools located at a distance from the selected venue for the conference would prefer a full day programme. SACRE was broadly in agreement that a full day conference was preferable;

·         The feedback on the content of the conferences had been positive however there was concern that there had been an attempt to undertake too much content in the half day provided;

·         The content of the forthcoming primary conference in 2019 was considered. SACRE suggested the following topics: the use of the internet/social media; mental health; tolerance; and common ground between religions and beliefs;

·         In terms of the content of the conferences it was explained that in-depth examination of subject matter e.g. Islam or Buddhism would be useful particularly to those teachers who were not specialists in the subject.

·         The trend of decreasing numbers of schools in attendance at conferences since 2011 was considered and it was queried whether a question should be put to primary schools as part of the RE survey to understand why they did not come to the conferences.

·         SACRE considered the provision of webinars at forthcoming conferences and agreed that in 2019 a live webinar should be attempted and one should be recorded and circulated to schools as a resource. It was suggested that the webinar could be promoted in Spotlight with a link provided to the resource to schools.

·         The arrangements for the secondary conferences were also discussed and it was confirmed that an arrangement with the three counties would be undertaken in 2019. SACRE was supportive of the arrangements for the secondary conferences which it was felt should not change following the receipt of positive feedback from the 2018 conferences.

·         It was explained that teacher members of Worcestershire SACRE had worked with University of Worcester to secure funding from Culham St Gabrie’s Trust to host a pupil and teacher day on 21 June 2019. The outcomes of the day would be assessed to determine if it was a success and whether such a format should be explored for the secondary conferences in future.  For 2019, it was decided that the Worcester model should not replace the teacher conference.

·         SACRE considered details of the 2018 conference on RE in special schools which had taken place across the three counties and noted the positive feedback received.


RESOLVED: that SACRE notes the report and asks RE Today to consider those comments raised in the finalisation of the programmes for the 2019 conferences and the RE Primary survey.

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