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The meeting was commenced with a prayer by Mr Rheinallt Thomas.
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN
To elect a Chairman for 2015/16.
Resolved: To re-elect Councillor Selwyn Griffiths as Chair of this Committee for 2015/16.
ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN
To elect a Vice-Chairman for 2015/16.
Resolved: To elect Councillor Gweno Glyn as Vice-chair of this Committee
To receive apologies for absence.
DECLARATION OF PERSONAL INTEREST
To receive any declaration of personal interest.
No declarations of personal interest were received from any members present.
To note any items that are a matter of urgency in the view of the Chairman for consideration.
(a) Mai Bere was welcomed to her first Gwynedd CYSAG meeting in the role of SACRE Clerk as a successor to Mr John Blake, who had now retired. The
Members’ Support Officer was requested to send a word of thanks to Mr Blake for his service and support to SACRE over the last year and to wish him well.
(b) Reference was made to the decision of Mr Wyn Myles Meredith to retire from his service on SACRE and it was understood that he was making arrangements for another representative to serve in his place on behalf of the Methodist Church.
Mr Meredith had been a loyal member of SACRE since his retirement as a Member of Gwynedd Council in 2008 and was the only one who had represented Gwynedd SACRE on the Wales SACRE Association and had attended the meetings regularly.
The Members’ Support Officer was requested to send a letter to Mr Meredith thanking him for his commitment and support to SACRE over the years and to wish him well in the future.
(c) Reference was made to Mr Noel Dyer’s decision to take early retirement from his post at Ysgol Glan y Môr and therefore he would also be retiring as a member of Gwynedd SACRE. The opportunity was taken to thank Mr Dyer for his commendable service and valuable contribution to SACRE work over the years and at the same time he was wished a happy retirement. It was trusted that he might possibly continue to contribute towards the work of SACRE in another role during his retirement.
(ch) It was also noted that Mrs Miriam Amlyn was on maternity leave and best wishes were extended to her.
Resolved: To request that the Members’ Support and Scrutiny Officer sends letters, on behalf of CYSAG, to thank and extend best wishes to those noted above.
The Chairman shall propose that the minutes of the meeting of SACRE held on 11 February 2015 be signed as a true copy.
The Chairman signed the minutes of the previous committee meeting that took place on 11 February 2015, as a true record.
Item 6 – School Self-evaluations
Stemming from the previous minutes, attention was drawn to the decision to hold a SACRE meeting at a school, however, it had not been possible to make arrangements for the meeting this time. They would seek to have the next meeting in November at a school
REPORT BY GWE's CHALLENGE ADVISOR
To receive a report / presentation by Miss Bethan James on the following:
(a) Collective Worship
(b) Developing Literacy and Numeracy in Religious Education in Key Stage 3
(c) Update – Donaldson consultation on the Curriculum for Wales
(a) Collective Worship
The Challenge Adviser reported that they had made an effort to try and identify a way to undertake the monitoring of collective worship. The committee was reminded that a questionnaire had been circulated approximately a year ago in order to identify ways of undertaking individual responsibilities for monitoring the standards of Religious Education or collective worship and those responses steered this work. The intention now was to put monitoring arrangements in place. Reference was made to ESTYN's guidance to inspectors on this when inspecting and monitoring collective worship. The guidance referred to the legal requirements namely that collective worship should occur daily at any time during the day, and that parents were entitled to withdraw their children from worship. Whilst accepting that SACRE Members did not like inspecting collective worship, a suggestion was made that they should visit schools to have a taste of collective worship. Further reference was made to the guidance from the Wales SACREs Association stating why collective worship was beneficial for children and it promoted the pupils’ spiritual development and contributed to their personal development and the feeling of schools as a community and to connect schools with the local community. Also, school reports were scrutinised and it was asked if they fulfilled statutory requirements.
A form was presented to Members during the meeting to assist them to record their observations when attending collective worship sessions and they were guided through the contents of the form.
During the discussion the following points were raised:
(a) That it was necessary to be careful in terms of keeping to what was statutory regarding Religious Education as in some schools now there were other demands on teachers during registration period such as presenting literacy, reading and it was more difficult to hold a class service because of this.
(b) That some governors were designated as champions to give an overview on Religious Education and/or other subjects and would it be possible to use these governors to the maximum for monitoring in order that work was not duplicated.
In response, it was noted that SACRE had a statutory role to monitor by sampling and observing what schools note in the self-evaluations correspond to what occurs in the school.
(c) The form was welcomed and it was added that it would be useful and of assistance to schools and governors as well.
(d) In response to a query regarding obstacles to collective worship where there were many different religions, it was not envisaged that this would be a problem as parents were fairly happy for their children to participate in school services/activities and they as parents took responsibility for faith.
(e) That Anglesey SACRE Members already visited schools to monitor collective worship and the arrangements had been successful with the response of the schools being very positive.
Resolved: To accept the monitoring form and approve to test it out when visiting schools emphasising that the process was to support schools and not to inspect them.
(b) Developing Literacy ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
(a) To receive, for information, the monitoring form in respect of schools’ self-evaluation for the Spring 2015 to Summer 2015 period.
(b) To present a summary of the following schools’ Self-evaluation:
(i) Coed Mawr Primary School
(ii) Bro Plennydd Primary School
(iii) Tanygrisiau Primary School
(iv) Yr Eifl Primary School
(v) Ffridd y Llyn Primary School
(vi) Felinheli Primary School
(a) The SACRE Clerk guided Members through the sheets submitted with a summary of the findings in the schools in question and drew attention that five primary schools and two secondary schools had been inspected by ESTYN during the Spring 2015 term, as well as Ysgol y Traeth where a report had not been published thus far. It was anticipated that another four schools would be inspected during this term namely the schools at Llanaelhaearn, Llanrug, Llanelltyd and Hirael.
(b) From the point of view of SACRE, although ESTYN had noted that Ysgol Gynradd Dolgellau was unsatisfactory, attention was drawn that this referred to the school’s arrangements to safeguard pupils.
(c) In terms of the annual report, attention was drawn to the conclusions raised in terms of provision for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
(ch) It was noted that reports as a whole did not often refer to merely religious education. The Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle report noted that the provision for KS4 was unsatisfactory in terms of the timetable and therefore it was suggested as SACRE members that it would be useful to invite the school to share their feedback. In response it was suggested further that a written report would be acceptable rather than drawing a teacher out of the school.
(d) Members were guided through the self-evaluations of the schools at Coed mawr, Bro Plennydd, Tanygrisiau, yr Eifl, Ffridd y Llyn and Felinheli by referring to the three key questions namely:
1. How good are outcomes in Religious Education?
2. How good is provision in Religious Education?
3. How good is provision for collective worship?
It was agreed that the self-evaluations equated to what was noted in the ESTYN inspections.
The GwE Challenge Adviser noted that it was important to refer to religious education in the self-evaluations in order that SACRE could have a taste of what they do, together with the use of appropriate vocabulary.
Resolved: To accept and note the contents of the inspections and self-evaluations and in accordance with procedure to request that the Assistant Education Officer sends a letter to the above schools congratulating them on their success and to note SACRE's appreciation of their efforts to achieve the grades.
(a) To receive draft minutes of the Wales SACRE Association’s meeting held on 6 March 2015 in Pembrokeshire.
(b) To note that the next meeting of the Association will be held on 25 June 2015 in Flintshire.
(a) Minutes of the previous meeting
Draft minutes of a meeting of the Wales Association of SACREs that took place on 6 March 2015 in Pembrokeshire, were submitted.
It was reported that no specific issues arose from the minutes as SACRE Members had already received presentations given to the Wales SACRE Association, under item 7 above.
Resolved: (a) To accept and note the contents of the minutes.
(b) To note that the next meeting of the Association
would take place on 25 June 2015 in Flintshire.