Hounslow Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 2, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services on 020 8583 2075 or email  democratic.services@hounslow.gov.uk 

No. Item


Apologies for absence, declarations of interest and any other communications from members


Apologies were received from Isabel Tayler, Andrew Downes, Gregory Wolcough and Dr Ranvir Singh.


The Chair welcomed Subodh Thaker to the meeting and informed members that Susan Roberts had decided to resign from SACRE, she thanked Susan Roberts for her years of contribution to SACRE.




Minutes of the meeting held on 4 February 2015 and matters arising pdf icon PDF 105 KB





The minutes of 4 February 2015 were agreed as accurate.


Matters arising:


Lesley Prior reported that Hounslow Heath had not received their determination letter and the clerk was asked to follow up and ensure that this had been sent out.  Lesley Prior added that this was the duty of the clerk and should have been done earlier in the year.


Note:  Subsequent to the meeting it was confirmed in an e-mail to Liz Wolverson and Lesley Prior on 10 July 2015 that a letter was sent to Hounslow Heath Junior School on 11 February 2015 and that letters were sent at the same time to Cranford, Alexandra, Hounslow Heath Infants and Springwell Infant and Nursery.


P.7  RE Books


It was reported that the package being marketed by Discovery RE had raised  issues for other SACRE’s too.  There was no mention on their website of the duty of local authorities to monitor RE programmes and the information was felt to be misleading and erroneous.  It was reported that schools have been contacted by SACRE and made aware of this.  Liz Wolverson reported that she had written to Discovery RE to inform them that they may not market their programme to Hounslow Schools as if it was supported by the SACRE as it did not meet the requirements for the local agreed syllabus and therefore did not carry SACRE’s approval.  She reported that they had not been accommodating.



Determinations : Kingsley Academy and Heston Community School - DFE Application pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:


The freedom of information request received from Daily Mail received the usual response with links to the annual report which contained the information requested.


Note:  Subsequent to the meeting the reporter from Daily Mail contacted the clerk to inform SACRE that the list of schools with determinations was not on the annual report.


Lesley Prior confirmed that both Kingsley and Heston had previously had determinations, however, now that they were academies they needed to apply directly to the Department for Education for their new determinations.  SACRE was of the view that it would be helpful to keep members aware of all applications.  Kingsley Academy’s approval and Heston Community School’s application were attached to the Agenda for information purposes.


Lesley Prior reported that the DFE appeared to be following the local level model in seeking specific information before granting determinations.  In future there would be two lists, one of SACRE controlled determinations and the other of DFE issued determinations.  Clarity was still needed with regards to whether future freedom of information requests would be submitted to the DFE or whether they would continue to be sent to the Local Authority SACRE.


Basil Mann questioned how many local schools would now submit determinations to the DFE.  Lesley Prior responded that all secondary schools, except for Heathland would now apply to DFE for determinations.




SACRE Membership Update


Subodh Thaker was welcomed as a new member.


A recent enquiry from a teacher’s union regarding SACRE membership had been referred to the annual report.  Lesley Prior questioned whether the name of any unions teacher members belonged to should appear in the annual report in future.  SACRE members agreed that union names should appear and Lesley Prior requested that all teachers provide her with information regarding the unions they represent.




SACRE Annual Lecture


Ranveer Singh spoke at the 2015 annual lecture and the text was subsequently circulated and also put onto the website.  Local MP Seema Malhotra had attended and provided the welcome address.  The lecture was well attended with representation from local schools, governors, parents, teacher trainees and SACRE, the local MP Seema Malhotra had also attended.


SACRE members were invited to consider who could do the next lecture and asked to propose names of individuals who would have something to say about RE.  Liz Wolverson suggested that an MP be invited to give a talk on RE.  MP Seema Malhotra was suggested as she had recently spoken at the Sixth Form Conference – it was felt that she showed real commitment to RE in her talk.  Basil Mann confirmed that Seema Malhotra came across as a ‘good friend’ of RE. 


Cllr Malhotra suggested asking MP Ruth Cadbury, who has a strong Quaker background, to speak at the next Conference together with MP Seema Malhotra.  He reported that Ruth Cadbury held strong views about RE and would be another good choice.





The National SACRE AGM had been attended by Lesley Prior.  Lesley Prior made it clear that she had not been sponsored by Hounslow to attend the National AGM although Hounslow was fortunate in having her to represent their interests.


The keynote speaker had been Charles Clarke.  Following on from the AGM he published, together with Professor Linda Woodhead, a report called ‘A New Settlement: Religion and Belief in Schools’.  This was launched in the House of Lords on 15 June 2015, reports of this, including photographs where shared by Lesley Prior (who had attended the launch) at the meeting.  Links to this report with the proposals it contains are available on the NASACRE website.  A podcast of Charles Clarke’s speech was reported to be available through a link on the NASACRE website.


Lesley Prior suggested that the report should be read by SACRE members and that discussions at the next SACRE meeting be based on this.  The report cover deals with issues of religious education, collective worship and faith schools.


Jane Savill questioned whether most SACRE were represented at the annual conference.  Lesley Prior could not confirm how many Local Authorities had SACRE represented although there had been about 100 individuals present.


Lesley Prior expressed her hope that members would have a look at the website and see the updates and resources from the conference, which were now available online for use in schools for meetings and for the teaching of pupils.  One of the proposals in the report had been around the decision that collective worship in schools should no longer be statutory.  Jane Savill suggested that this decision should be devolved down to head teachers.  Lesley Prior reported that Hounslow schools had a good record of collective worship compared with schools nationally.


Another recommendation put forward in the pamphlet was that locally agreed syllabus should be replaced by a National Agreed Syllabus determined by a National Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. A further recommendation was that local SACRE be given a new role including participating in consultation about the content of the National RE curriculum and helping with local implementation of this curriculum.


Lesley Prior reported that a briefing paper was due to be produced by NASACRE.


Lesley Prior reported that she had also attended the Woolf Institute’s commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life: community, diversity and the common good chaired by The Rt Hon the Baroness (Elizabeth) Butler-Sloss of Marsh Green GBE.



Liz Wolverson reported that the press had incorrectly spoken of ‘religious Instruction’ rather than what is now called ‘religious education’.  She was not confident that the proposals would take effect.


Jane Savill questioned whether this would generate long term changes or whether it would lose the focus of the DfE and nothing actually happen.


Links to the documents are included below:







Annual SACRE Sixth Form Conference


The Chair thanked Cranford Academy for hosting the Sixth Form RE Conference and particularly thanked Mehmoona Yousaf for her contribution in making the conference a success.


Mehmoona Yousaf thanked SACRE for the opportunity to organise the event and reported that of 195 returned evaluations, following the conference, only 5 had said they would ‘maybe’ recommend attendance while a further 10 had said ‘no’ they would not recommend attendance.  The balance of the evaluation had agreed that ‘yes’ they would recommend attendance.  She said that pupils had enjoyed the day.  She added that it was unfortunate that because it had been held during Ramadan many of the pupils had been unable to enjoy the food provided.  The keynote speaker, Ranveer Singh had started promptly and had kept the attendees captivated with his lively and interesting lecture.  The panel exercise had been particularly successful with one of Jane Savill’s pupils successfully stepping in to fill a place on the panel at the last minute.  Some of the workshops had been delivered by Cranford and IoE students, an experience which had empowered the sixth formers to engage directly in the issues.  Seema Malhotra had ended with a short speech on the important of RE and the challenge of extremism today. 


Cllr Malhotra had sat on the panel and had taken a range of questions, this had been very useful.


Thanks were given to Jane Savill, her students and the schools for their contribution to the success of the event.


Dates for next year’s event are to be finalised, Lesley Prior suggested 17th June 2016 or a Monday or Tuesday around that time.


Basil Mann requested an invitation and the opportunity to participate in the next conference as the representative of a very small number of Jewish students in the borough.


Liz Wolverson reported that attendees had found these conferences to be exciting events in the past.


Lesley Prior will circulate possible dates for the next conference.


Mehmoona Yousaf reported that Cranford would welcome the opportunity to host the next conference.


Update on Current Developments in Religious Education Nationally - Lesley Prior


Lesley Prior agreed that this had been covered within her feedback on the NASACRE AGM. 


SACRE Website update


Lesley Prior concluded that this item had been covered adequately while providing feedback on the National SACRE AGM.






The budget was agreed as presented by Liz Wolverson.  £6000 have been allowed for in the budgeting for this year, this includes the cost of the 6th form conference, some days of Lesley Prior’s time towards this and the writing of the annual report.  The total number of days included in the budget for Lesley Prior amounts to 7 days at a cost of £400 a day for preparing for and attending SACRE Executive and SACRE meetings..  Additional costs on the budget included the cost of administrative support for the 6 meetings held annually, the annual SACRE subscription, attending the National SACRE conference and the cost of the annual SACRE lecture.


Lesley Prior reported that if Hounslow SACRE were required to review the agreed syllabus a separate budget would need to be agreed.




Dates of Meetings for 2016

Monday, 29th February 2016

Wednesday, 4th May 2016

Thursday, 15th September 2016


It was agreed that the next SACRE meetings would be held on:


2nd November 2015

29th February 2016


SACRE Executive meetings will be on:


29th September 2015

2nd February 2016


Dates for SACRE meetings in June and November 2016 are to be confirmed.



Any Other Urgent Business


Group D met briefly and reported that they had agreed that Eileen Crabtree had been nominated as the new convener for Group D.


Basil Mann reported that he was available to visit schools and any other faith events to promote and highlight Jewish education in Hounslow.


Mehmoona Yousaf again thanked SACRE for holding the 6th Form Conference at Cranford.


Liz Wolverson reported that with the resignation of Susan Roberts Hounslow SACRE would need to appoint a new Vice Chair, she further proposed the possible appointment of a new Chair to SACRE in the autumn and welcomed self nominations and nominations by members to be placed on the agenda for the meeting in the autumn.