Agenda item

Update on Key Issues

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities



SACRE considered the report which covered the main issues affecting Religious Education (RE) in Staffordshire since the last meeting. Further to the written report, the following information was provided:


  • Westhill legacy project – The project has restarted this year and was being very well received. There was now a waiting list of schools wishing to take part or contribute.
  • CPD courses may start again after Christmas.
  • Sacred Spaces support from Youthnet had not yet started back due to Covid but this would hopefully resume in the near future.

An update would be included at the next meeting. A question was asked on whether there had been any reluctance from schools to take part in extra curriculum activities and if they were concentrating on catching up on the core syllabus.  It was reported that no change had been noticed in primary schools, but it was felt that secondary schools may be giving more priority to the core curriculum.

  • Ofsted inspections have now resumed. Mary Gale had used the website ‘Watchsted’ and searched for reference to religious education and Staffordshire. There were a number of references to RE, mostly positive.

It was also noted that one school had received a recent inspection in Staffordshire and RE was referenced as the school was not using the Staffordshire’s Agreed Syllabus, instead they were using a resource called ‘Understanding Christianity’. The school had been contacted and the correct Syllabus is now being used.  It was reported that this only happened occasionally as the AS was advertised widely to all schools.

  • An ‘Impact of SACRE’ summary report had been written for ‘Entrust’ the trading organisation for SCC.
  • NASACRE training had been provided and utilised online for the advisor on the writing of future SACRE annual reports. Appendix 1 outlined the format of future annual reports. The Chair pointed out that our annual report generally followed this format. The reports would be looked at by the DfE in future years.
  • Training for advisors was also provided by AREIAC and Mary Gale, the advisor, would be attending the next available session on 30th November. A meeting of NATRE would also be held within the near future and Mary Gale would attend and provide a report for the next meeting of SACRE in February
  • RE exam results – Provisional data suggests that Staffordshire had more entries in exams in 2020. Staffordshire are just 4% below the national average but this improvement may be due to the changes as a result of Covdi-19 requiring teacher assessment grades and not externally marked exams.


It was noted that home educated children were not currently given direct support in RE but the syllabus was available on the web site.  This may need further discussion with Council Officers who support home educated children.


Religious Education Quality Mark (REQM). SACRE have been approached by a school (St Chads Church of England Voluntary Controlled school, Pattingham) who felt that they had done all of the preliminary work to meet the REQM criteria, but they could not fund all of the application cost.  The school had requested that SACRE fund part of the £475 cost of the application. SACRE members supported this application.



a)    That the report be received.

b)    That funding of £475 be provided to St Chads Church of England voluntary school, Pattingham for the application to apply for the REQM.


Supporting documents: