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Issue: 7

This issue includes:

A response to Lord Nash's letter to SACREs

NASACRE welcomes Lord Nash’s letter and thinks that SACREs should discuss the letter and its implications for their own Local Authorities. SACREs are encouraged to write to the Under Secretary of State for Schools to:
  • thank him for the letter;
  • support the proposal to commission an analysis of Annual Reports and produce a report about SACREs nationally on that basis;
  • point out that SACRE members are not volunteers but appointed members of a statutory body and, that whilst they offer much to their local authorities (LA) in terms of social and cultural capital, their main purpose is to advise the LA on religious education and collective worship;
  • ask the Under Secretary of State how the Department for Education is going to hold local authorities to account in relation to their responsibilities to support and resource SACREs;
  • ask the Under Secretary of State about the relationship SACRE should have with Academies and Free Schools in light of the Academies Commission Report 2013 where local authorities are seen to be the champion of children and young people and therefore advocates for a broad and balanced curriculum, including RE which is the only curriculum responsibility of LA. 
The Director of Children’s Services and the appropriate Portfolio holder should be sent a copy of Lord Nash’s letter with SACRE’s response.

Read Lord Nash's letter.

NASACRE Annual Conference and AGM 2015

Date: Thursday 21st May 2015 11:00am - 4:30pm

Venue: The Council House, Birmingham

Cost: £90 per delegate (member SACREs), £110 per delegate (non member SACREs)

Meeting the Challenge

Keynote speaker: Rt. Hon. Charles Clarke 
Secretary of State for Education and Skills, 2002-4
Visiting Professor, School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies, University of East Anglia
Seminar leaders:
Denise Cush
Professor of Religion and Education at Bath Spa University

Mary Myatt
Lead Ofsted inspector, Culham St Gabriel’s Lead Consultant for Teacher Conferences, adviser, writer and trainer
Provisional programme

11:00 Arrival, registration and coffee
11:30 Welcome and introductions 
11:40 Keynote address: Charles Clarke
12:10 Question time
12:45 Business meeting
1:30 Lunch

The afternoon will comprise seminar addresses from Denise Cush and Mary Myatt, with opportunities for SACREs to ask questions, share, discuss and reflect before the announcement of the Westhill awards and closing remarks from our new Chair. 

4:30 Conference closes


NASACRE Executive vacancies

At the the AGM in May, there will be vacancies on the Executive for Vice Chair and three members of the committee.

Vice Chair
Our chair, Lesley Prior writes:

At the AGM in May, my two year tenure as Chair of NASACRE will be over and David Hampshire will take on this role. However, I will not step down, as I will become Executive Assistant and support David and other members of the Executive in our ongoing work. 

As David becomes Chair, we will be looking for someone who can take on the Vice Chair role. Could you be that person? In essence, it is a six year commitment, so not something to be considered lightly. There is an information paper about the roles of Vice Chair, Chair and Executive Assistant on the website.

Having read this information document, if you are interested and want further information, please email me.

Executive committee member
The role of a member of the Executive committee is to support NASACRE in its increasingly demanding work and to offer his/her skills and expertise in this regard. It is not to represent a particular SACRE or specific group.

Further information/ nomination form.

SACRE Annual Reports – what is necessary and what is desirable?

A new document: SACRE Annual Reports – what is necessary and what is desirable? has been produced by David Hampshire and Denise Chaplin to support SACREs in producing their annual report - one of SACRE's statutory duties.

SACRE Annual Reports

Thank you to those SACREs who have already submitted reports for the year 2013-14.

Please email your SACRE report as one document in PDF format with a maximum size of approx 3Mb to:

Charlie Hebdo

Following the Charlie Hebdo murders and the Hyper Casher hostage deaths in Paris, NASACRE has issued a statement about teaching Islam

Regional hubs

Colleagues in the South Central RE Hub describe this partnership
The South Central RE Hub, hosted in Hampshire, has agreed that its overall purpose is to enable a range of opportunities for building the leadership capacity of teachers of both primary and secondary RE. This Hub began life as a network of SACREs meeting once each term, initiated by the Hampshire SACRE, and answerable to individual SACREs. The Hub remains a SACRE initiative, but its membership has now been widened slightly to include teachers from different phases as well as from the University of Winchester. 

There are three interconnected elements to this work and constituent hub members plan to work together in various ways to share good practice and engage in activities that are better done together than alone. The first element is the formation of a reading and research group. This group, run jointly by Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service (HIAS) and the University of Winchester will enable teachers across all phases of RE to explore current research and initiatives, as well as to develop research potential in schools.

Meeting twice each term after school, it is intended that a ‘real time’ webinar be set up, as well as several social media and Moodle opportunities to ensure open access for those who live further away. The University of Winchester will offer participants who are interested the opportunity to enrol on their flexible MA Ed programme. This will mean that teachers could gain credits towards a Master's degree in Education. For more information please email or   

The second element is aimed at building capacity through networking with various teacher links that exist across the hub area. There will be a sharing of good practice; developing common themes and increasing participation. These groups are all to be linked to the NATRE Groups.

The third element of work is aimed at responding to the known need for subject booster opportunities. The South Central RE Hub recognises the range of differing needs of specialist and non specialist RE teachers, and intends to build capacity for both. The possibility of a subject specialist conversion course, in conjunction with The University of Winchester, is being investigated. For more information about the South Central RE Hub please contact Hub coordinator Patricia Hannam, Hampshire County Inspector/Adviser RE/History

The Westhill /NASACRE Awards 2015-16

Colleagues are asked to note that the next round of these Awards have begun. The formal notice, briefing paper and application form are now on the NASACRE website. The closing date for applications for an Award (of up to £4,000) will be on or around March 31st.
Michael Metcalf

RE Resources

In response to requests from SACREs about mailings from commercial providers of RE resources NASACRE has written an advice document.

What is RE For? A questionnaire

Recently OFSTED, the UK-wide Does RE Work? project and various writers from the field of RE have identified that there are lots of competing ‘aims’ for RE, and perhaps RE teachers are trying to do too much.

In response to this, Mark Plater from Bishop Grosseteste University is devising a questionnaire to ask SACRE members what they personally feel are the most important aims for the subject. The instrument is currently being piloted, and should be ready for use later in the year. The questionnaire will be launched at the NASACRE Annual Conference and AGM in Birmingham on 21st May 2015. Results from the survey will be collated over the course of the year, and these will be disseminated to all SACREs for discussion at future meetings.
Please look out for the survey, and ensure that as many of your own SACRE members complete it as you can muster. It will be available online and in downloadable pdf format for printing and planning. For further information contact Mark Plater on

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