Hounslow Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Farah Irfan-Khan on 020 8583 2075 or email  farah.irfan-khan@hounslow.gov.uk 

No. Item


Application for Detemination


An application for determination submitted by Grove Road Primary School was considered by each group represented on SACRE. Each Group voted to accept the application and grant the determination. 




i.                    To approve the granting of the determination exempting Grove Road Primary School from the requirement to arrange for daily collective worship which is ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’ (Schools Standards and framework Act 1998) 



Welcome and Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were noted.


Minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2013 and matters arising pdf icon PDF 17 KB





The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.


Matters arising


Minute 37

Lee Souter stated that Hounslow Virtual Education Centre (HVEC) was a useful website for schools to access key documents and policies. Lee Souter confirmed that currently Widening Horizons; the agreed syllabus for RE in Hounslow was available on the website. A knowledge hub has now been implemented which will allow further resources to be uploaded for schools to access. Lee Souter recommended Lesley Prior, as the RE Adviser in Hounslow, to gain authoritative rights which will allow direct communication with schools on the latest developments in RE. The online resource is also integrated with social media such as Twitter and Facebook.  


SACRE Membership Update


It was reported that two new members had joined the Hounslow SACRE. Revd Andrew Downes from St Nicholas Church in Chiswick had joined Group B and Mark Hayball from the London Buddhist Vihara joined as a Buddhist representative on Group A. Steve Line who was formerly on the teachers Group C has now moved into Group B to represent the Church of England.


There were currently six vacant positions on the SACRE; one in Group A for a Muslim representative; one in Group B for a Church of England representative and four in Group C for teacher representatives.


Lesley Prior stated that she will promote the vacancies at the forthcoming Hounslow RE Coordinators Training day event that was going to take place on 14 November 2013.





SACRE Annual Lecture


John Leeson provided a brief summary of the SACRE Annual lecture which was delivered by Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association and Chair of the Religious Education Council. There were three parts to the lecture; discussion on the origins of teaching non-religious world views in RE, history of Humanism in RE and the best place to learn about Humanism. Andrew Copson also spoke about the aims of RE which he believed were developing understanding between communities, contributing towards personal development and liberal humanities. Andrew Copson emphasised the importance of teaching non-religious world views based on the fact that a large number of children do not belong to any faith.



i.                    John Leeson to contact Andrew Copson for summary of the presentation



Annual SACRE Sixth Form Conference (Rachel Lawrence)


Rachel Lawrence delivered a presentation on the Annual SACRE Sixth Form Conference at Lampton School which she stated was initiated by Lesley Prior. The theme this year was 'Is God relevant in the modern world?' The event consisted of various workshops, keynote speakers and a panel which answered questions forward by students. Trainee teachers from the Institute of Education ran workshops and members of faith communities also attended the event. The next conference will take place on Friday 20 June 2014.



i.                    Secretary to circulate presentation on the 2013 Annual SACRE Sixth Form Conference



Update on Current Developments in RE (Lesley Prior)


Lesley Prior began her presentation with the statement that this year was a significant year for RE with the release of three major reports published within the last six months; the APPG Report: The Truth Unmasked, Ofsted Report: Realising the Potential report and the RE Council Report: A Review of RE in England. All three reports highlight key findings such as low standards and weak teaching in a majority of schools, gaps in training and weak leadership and management in RE. Some of the recommendations laid out in these reports include the review of the current statutory arrangements for RE, the assurance of more robust arrangements for training and supporting of teachers of RE and subject leadership.


Lesley Prior supported the recommendations made by in each of the reports however the RE Council Report, non-statutory curriculum framework for RE, was criticised for providing no coherence or progress between ages and the lack of creativity and challenge it provided for students at key stages 1, 2 and 3. Lesley Prior suggested using this report as guidance and suggested a set of options in regards to the current Widening Horizons curriculum:


Option 1: Widening Horizons curriculum to be reviewed and retained

Option 2: Widening Horizons curriculum to be reviewed with the view to

     revise some of the content

Option 3: Develop an entirely new syllabus

Option 4: Adopt syllabus from another Local Education Authority (LEA)


Lesley Prior however reminded all of the members that all of the above options have costs implications.


Lesley Prior stated that SACRE would like to offer more support to drive improvements in RE teaching but is limited due to lacking of funding which varies from borough to borough. To raise this issue, Lesley Prior shall be meeting with a representative from the Department of Education on 5 December 2013. To improve subject leadership in the borough Lesley Prior is also setting up and running RE Coordinators Training Days one of which will be taking place on 14 November 2013 at The Blue School. Lesley Prior has also recently sent out a request to Michael Gove, Education Secretary, Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and Baroness Warsi to write to LEA to remind them of their statutory requirement for to appoint a SACRE.


Liz Wolverson assured the members that over the years the budget for Hounslow SACRE has been spent wisely so that monies can be invested into training sessions such as the one taking place on 14 November.


Members of the group also provided valuable input into the discussions including the suggestion to provide more support and training especially to primary school teachers who lack confidence and the fact that specialist knowledge was very important.






i.                    Secretary to circulate presentation and links to the three reports to the group





Annual SACRE Report 2012-13 (Lesley Prior) pdf icon PDF 132 KB


Draft Annual SACRE Report for 2012-13 was presented by Lesley Prior. Liz Wolverson stated that the Foreword emphasised the importance to schools to consult with parents when applying for Determinations. The report lists schools which have been granted Determinations and when they are due for renewal. Cranford Community, which is due for renewal on 15 October 2013, has now become an Academy therefore the school will to forward their application to the Department of Education. The members were satisfied with the report and agreed to have a copy available on HVEC.



i.                    Secretary to circulate the Annual SACRE Report and send to Lee Souter for uploading on to HVEC




Holocaust Memorial Event


It has been confirmed that the Hounslow’s Holocaust Memorial Event will be taking place on Wednesday 29 January commencing at 10.30am at the Civic Centre. Eva Schloss, stepsister of Anne Frank, was invited to attend as the guest speaker.



i.                    Secretary to circulate details on the event




Date of Next Meeting: 5 February 2014


The date of the next meeting was noted.


Any Other Urgent Business