Venue: by video conference
Contact: Committee Administrator Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The meeting began with a few minutes silent reflection.
Councillor Meirick Davies, Dominic Oakes and Katie Mason
Councillor Emrys Wynne and Sarah Griffiths would be arriving late to the meeting.
Members to declare any personal or prejudicial interests in any business identified to be considered at this meeting.
No declarations of interest had been raised.
To receive a presentation on the purpose of an Agreed Syllabus Conference.
The RE Adviser explained the requirement for the local authority to convene an Agreed Syllabus Conference to discuss the formal adoption of an Agreed Syllabus for Religion, Values and Ethics every five years. He delivered a brief presentation on the purpose of an Agreed Syllabus Conference which covered the following –
· Religion, Values and Ethics (RVE) was a locally determined subject and the Agreed Syllabus specified what should be taught in RVE within each of the 22 local authorities in Wales for those schools that taught the Agreed Syllabus
· the Guidance was directed at those responsible for preparing an Agreed Syllabus who must have regard to it, including the Agreed Syllabus Conference and the local authority who had a function in adopting the Agreed Syllabus
· the Agreed Syllabus Conference was legally required to review the syllabus and recommend an appropriate syllabus to the local authority for adoption
· following adoption of an Agreed Syllabus all maintained schools and settings had to have regard to it, including schools of a religious character, in their design of the Agreed Syllabus element of their RVE provision
· a local authority could adopt or adapt the Guidance as their Agreed Syllabus
· the Agreed Syllabus Conference must ensure the syllabus reflected the fact that (a) religious traditions in Wales were in the main Christian while taking account of the teaching and practices of other principal religions represented in Wales, and (b) a range of non-religious philosophical convictions were held in Wales
· detailed the composition of the Agreed Syllabus Conference together with voting rights and unanimous agreement sought on a recommended syllabus of RVE
· the removal of the right to withdraw from RVE in the Curriculum for Wales from September 2022 for all learners up to and including year 6; from September 2023 for years 7 and 8, and following the continuation of the phased roll-out of the Curriculum for Wales from September 2024 for year 9, September 2025 for year 10 and September 2026 for year 11.
There being no questions from members arising from the presentation it was –
RESOLVED that the presentation by the RE Adviser regarding purpose of an Agreed Syllabus Conference be received and noted.
To discuss the advice the Agreed Syllabus Conference will formally provide to the local authority on the adoption of Denbighshire’s newly Agreed Syllabus for Religion, Values and Ethics, and to formally advise the local authority on the adoption of a newly Agreed Syllabus for Religion, Values and Ethics.
The RE Adviser facilitated a discussion on the advice the Agreed Syllabus Conference would formally provide to the local authority on the adoption of Denbighshire’s newly Agreed Syllabus for Religion, Values and Ethics, with specific consideration given to adopting the RVE Guidance as Denbighshire local authority’s Agreed Syllabus from September 2022 to September 2027.
Members noted the merits of adopting the RVE Guidance in its entirety as the Agreed Syllabus which included: the training provided by the Welsh Government would be applicable to that RVE Guidance; there would be consistency across many other local authorities in Wales working along the same curriculum lines; the RVE Guidance had been designed as a good fit into the new curriculum as part of the Humanities Area of Learning Experience, and the RVE Guidance had already been through the relevant consultations with stakeholder and quality assurance processes meaning there was little scope for potential litigations. The teachers present reported upon the development of the Humanities Area of Learning Experience within their schools and considered that the RVE Guidance linked well within the curriculum and supported the suggestion that it be adopted as the Agreed Syllabus, and that support was also echoed by other members.
Councillor Tony Flynn proposed, seconded by Collette Owen that the local authority be advised to adopt the RVE Guidance, in its entirety, as its Agreed Syllabus.
The Agreed Syllabus Conference was comprised of three separate committees representing (1) Religious Denominations and Non-Religious Philosophical Convictions, (2) Teacher Associations, and (3) the Local Authority, and the RE Adviser referred to the requirement for each committee to vote separately on the proposition. Upon being put to the vote of each committee it was unanimously –
RESOLVED to advise Denbighshire local authority to adopt the Religion, Values and Ethics Guidance as an Agreed Syllabus from September 2022 to September 2027.
The RE Adviser also sought members’ consideration of the following –
· Conwy SACRE had noted the lack of reference to post 16 in the RVE Guidance but that reference to post 16 had been included as part of the legislative summary within the Curriculum for Wales, specifically for RVE because it was no longer applicable for every post 16 pupil to follow an RVE curriculum. However, if a child wished they would still be entitled to receive provision for RVE and it was suggested that entitlement should be explicit in the advice given to the local authority. It was noted that Conwy SACRE had proposed an appendix to the Agreed Syllabus incorporating the reference to post 16 in the legislative summary as guidance in that regard. The Chair proposed, seconded by Councillor Cheryl Williams that the same approach be taken in Denbighshire
· given the phased roll-out of the new Curriculum for Wales it was suggested that the local authority continued with the current Agreed Syllabus in line with that phased approach and the local authority be advised accordingly. Councillor Cheryl Williams proposed that approach, seconded by Councillor Rachel Flynn. Due to the need for both the current and new Agreed Syllabus to be easily accessible the intention was to make it available on the Denbighshire website on the webpage hosting SACRE agendas etc.
Each of the three committees voted separately on the above two propositions and it was unanimously –
RESOLVED to further advise Denbighshire local authority to –
(a) include an appendix to the Agreed Syllabus incorporating the reference to post 16 provision of RVE as detailed in the legislative summary within the Curriculum for Wales, and
(b) in line with the phased roll-out of the new Curriculum for Wales, the local ... view the full minutes text for item 4.