Agenda and minutes

Contact: Julie Barker  Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

Members will be asked to make any declarations of interest in respect of items on this agenda.


There were no declarations of interest from Members in accordance with the code of conduct.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2020.


The minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2020 were agreed as an accurate record. Emma butler – Questions

·         Point 4 of the minutes Ben was sending out a statement on Humanist Representation on SACRE, Emma hasn’t received these.

·         Katie advised that the statement was sent after the minutes to the last meeting & agenda had already been sent, Ben will share in the meeting today. 

·         Point 7 collective worship update – Was the guidance sent out to schools and how was it received?

·         Katie confirmed that the information was sent out to all schools via the school update sent by Heather Ogburn and via a statement about distance learning for RE and collective worship- What this should look like in Community Schools particularly during the current Covid bubbles. Katie was unsure if any response was provided by any schools, so doesn’t know how it was received.

Ed Pawson asked if this information could also be sent to the Governors at all schools. 

Kate Freeman confirmed this will be completed.

Liz Hill advised that this update was received well in the schools.

Ed Pawson – agreed minutes are an accurate record from the meeting on 13 July 2020, seconded by Liz Hill.



Chair's Urgent Business

To receive reports on business which, in the opinion of the Chair, should be brought forward for urgent consideration.


Confirmed that the Collective Worship document was sent out. Chair will arrange to send to school Governors as well. 



Group A Representation (Ben Kerr/ Nic Gibson)


·         Katie Freeman introduced Ben Kerr (Representative from Humanist UK) and Nic Gibson (Representative from the Pagan Community)

·         It is felt that these two groups should be moved from the Co-operative Section to group A representation.

·         Nic Gibson and Ben Kerr shared their statements with the group requesting that they are moved from Cooperative Section to Group A Representation.

·         Emma Butler asked what the national guidance is from SACRE with regards to which groups are allowed in Group A

·         Ed Pawson stated that in the SACRE handbook that Humanists are prohibited by law of becoming part of Group A which is disputed.  He read the part in the handbook relating to Group A Representatives, specifically that SACRE may vary but in law it should reflect the diversity of various faith communities in the locality.

·         It is felt acceptable to invite Pagans and Humanists into Group A.

·         There are competing issues which SACRE need to look at.

·         Ben Kerr – Confirmed that Humanists are being broadly accepted across the country to Group A.


·         Cllr Mary Aspinall – Do our Terms of Reference allow this?

·         Cllr Mary Aspinall - Need to ensure all representatives have knowledge of our children in Plymouth, and will represent the Plymouth area.

·         Liz Is Group A the best/only group to go into

·         Are Pagan/Humanists the largest other two groups that are representative of our area?

·         Kate – yes, both are large groups that represent the South West area.

·         Lesley Clark – What do we mean by community?

·         Katie Freeman – We have named representation for a lot of other groups, such as Muslim, Sikhs to offer their representation for their world view, but do not attend SACRE regularly, we are working with other religious groups to try and encourage local faiths to attend.


·         Voting took place privately,

·         Group A - Abstain

·         Group B – In favour of inviting Humanist & Pagan into Group A

·         Group C – In favour of inviting Humanist & Pagan into Group A

·         Group D – In favour of inviting Humanist & Pagan into Group A


Ed Pawson advised that TOR for SACRE and voting is that every house has to be represented, which it is. The decision made today stands legally.

·         Chair & Vice-Chair comment that effort needs to be made to improve the attendance of the different groups to the SACRE meeting. Chair, Vice-Chair & Michael House to take forward.

·         Kate officially welcomes Ben & Nic into Group A.



Local and National Developments (Katie Freeman)


·         The Chair advised that in January 2021, NATRE will be holding their annual conference on-line due to Covid restrictions. This will held over 2 days.

·         Sara Wells gave an update regarding Plymouth Centre for Faiths and Cultural Diversity. All the team have been furloughed since March 2020.

·         Team are now back to the office on reduced hours. Furlough for staff will be reviewed in January. An office move will hopefully take place before Christmas.

·         Sara Wells is working with speakers and schools to see what can be offered in the current climate. An email has been sent to the schools offering speaker & cultural sessions virtually. This will be rolled out until the situation changes, and speakers are able to safely go back to schools. Bookings are being taken from schools.

·         Ed Pawson provided further information regarding learn, teach, lead local talks in November.

-An Autumn conference would normally take place in October for RE which is always successful.

This year talks and interactive workshops have been taking place

- 1 has taken place so far, 3 will take place in November, one will co-incide with Inter-Faith week. Adam Robertson from Bristol will talk about bringing the sacred texts to life.

25 people attended the October meeting, the Very Venerable David Hampshire from Cornwall will be speaking next week on his PHD research.- RE Planning at KS3. Katie Staples from Bristol will talk about RE & Sex Education later in November.

·         REC is following up the commission regarding the 2018 report, stating the name RE should change to Religion & World Views.  A meeting was held 2 weeks ago by Theos Group who published a report titled World views in Religious Education. Ed will arrange to circulate this link for members to read.



Plymouth Teaching Schools Alliance - Oracy skills project with Ghana (Donna Briggs)


Donna Briggs provided information around putting together RE and oracy together in schools, and provided more information around the international link with schools in Ghana. 

·         The Oracy project has run since 2017, getting pupils in school talking and are now branching out to other counties. 

·         Donna is Chair of the Plymouth Ghana Link working with schools in Ghana since 2005.

·         The Plymouth Ghana Link is a charity that has been running since 2003.

·         Under the Education strand since 2003 teachers & pupils have visited Ghana, and Ghanaian teachers and pupils have visited England. 

·         The project will be funded by the British Council, under the Connecting Classrooms bid. This will enable reciprocal visits to take place between Plymouth & Ghana teachers and pupils in July and Autumn 2021 (Covid permitting) 

·         Visits will be to explore how faith and lives are shared in Ghana and Plymouth, the differences as well as celebrating the similarities. Sustainable development goals are being met within this project.

·         Project document can be shared with members of group if required. Donna offered her support should schools across the city wish to be involved in the project


Kate advised that schools are now looking at how to introduce the vocabulary. What that may look like, tiers of vocabulary, how to teach RE with an oracy link.



Plymouth RE Hub and Learn, Teach, Lead (Katie Freeman)


·         Katie confirmed there will be no conference for the learn, teach, lead but a series of talks will be undertaken instead

·         The hub is meeting 6 x yearly, trying to increase research around religion & world views as a group discussion



Non compliant schools - update (Katie Freeman in Heather Ogburn's absence)


·         Heather has been in touch with the non-compliant school

·         Katie spoke to the head regarding the issues, school is now compliant. This will continue to be monitored.



SACRE Budget (Michael House in Heather Ogburn's absence)


·         PCC have previously supported SACRE, with a £6000.00 annual budget.

·         Michael will meet with Katie in the future to discuss an action plan with regards to budget planning going forward and amounts of budget given to SACRE.



HMD Poetry Competition (Lesley Clark)


·         Poetry Competition for 5-18 year olds to take place for Holocaust Memorial Day across Plymouth

·         Young poet willing to participate in a video to provide to all schools in preparation for the competition, Holly’s poem was used in the Holocaust Memorial Civic Event last year and could be recorded for this purpose

·         Holocaust Educational Trust have free resources for schools on the Holocaust. The school just needs to sign up to the trust. This will be included on the flyers to schools

·         Flyer to be sent to all schools advising that the competition is open to all pupils aged 5-18. The theme should be a poem about the Holocaust, that the suffering and persecution must never be forgotten; and there are those in current times experiencing the same persecutions.

·         Poems will be judged on originality, insight and interpretation of the theme

·         Schools will be asked to submit their best 10 entries

·         Timescale – Feb half term poem submitted by

·         March will be judged in age categories, KS1, 2,3,4, Post 16.

·         Best ones will be sent to schools and made into a booklet, a publisher is being looked into at the moment.

·         A5-50 page – 200 copies £411, 500 copies £787,

·         A5-80 page booklet £490 for 200-£985 for 500.


Emma – Can the flyer be sent by the end of the Christmas term?

Katie – Will set up the flyer and send to the schools. Donna will share through the Teaching Alliance. PCFD also happy to support and send to contacts. Sara from PCFD agrees to be part of the judging panel and provide Katie with wording to include in the flyer that offers support from PCFD and HMD.



Update from Members


·         Agenda item surrounding membership to be added back onto the agenda, requested by Ed Pawson

·         Liz Hill will be retiring May 2021, so will be stepping down from her Primary Head Teacher role in SACRE. She can continue to be involved in SACRE in another role.





Katie Freeman confirmed that:

·         Andrea is no longer a member of SACRE who has been a really active member and a big support to our work

·         Helena has stepped down from SACRE, she has served on SACRE for many years and has been a massive asset. 

·         All members agree to send both a card thanking them for their support. 



Date and venue of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on 22 March 2021 at 1pm.


The next meeting will be held on 22 March 2021 at 1pm.