Agenda and minutes


No. Item


Election of Chairperson




Councillor Ernie Galsworthy was formally re-elected as Chair.


Election of Vice Chairperson




Councillor Kate Moran was formally re-elected as Vice Chair.

Councillor Ernie Galsworthy took the Chair


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence received from Garth Tasker and Ann Star.


Declaration of Interests


No declarations of interest were made.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 52 KB




The minutes of the meeting held on 2nd June 2015 were submitted and approved.


Matters Arising


In relation to future meetings, Vicky Thomas advised that Garth Tasker and Ann Starr would be unable to attend any meetings which are held on a Tuesday, due to other long term commitments.  


RESOLVED that:  The Committee will alternate meetings between a Tuesday and a Thursday to ensure that members can at least be able to attend some of the meetings. 


Vicky Thomas referred Members to the presentation she made in the June meeting on Mary Parry's work on Motivating and Raising the Attainment of Boys from the context of Islam.   Following a request for the full set of teacher materials, she advised that Mary Parry has agreed to share this with all our Secondary Schools, together with a CD containing electronic material including u-tube clips etc.  These were handed out to secondary school teachers in the meeting and Karen Vokes to forward any remaining directly to the Schools not represented at SACRE.


'Using Hwb+ to improve boys' writing'

To receive a presentation by Lucy Draper, Penydre High School.


Lucy Draper made a presentation on the use of Hwb+.  She advised that this is a facility that enables all learners and teachers to access online resources anywhere, at any time, and also provide tools to help teachers and learners create and share their own resources.


Hwb+ was integrated into the RE curriculum at Penydre High School for a period of 4 weeks, with the intention to improve boys’ attitudes towards writing and to close the attainment ‘gap’ between boys and girls.


She outlined in detail how the pupils participated and also the positive findings which resulted from their participation.   She advised that this resulted in:


·         Attainment being improved for both genders


·         Boys making greater progress and the attainment gap being significantly reduced.


·         Almost all pupils (94%) enjoyed the use of the Hwb+ platform.


·         Most pupils being extremely positive about the strategies used over the course of the intervention.


·         Implementing the platform over a long timescale, could lead to improved attitudes.


Lee-anne McCarthy outlined the progress made on Hwb+ at Cyfarthfa High School.  


Following a detailed discussion, it was RESOLVED that:


Lee-anne McCarthy and Lucy Draper to provide details to Vicky Thomas for inclusion in the RE News Website on how Hwb+ is used in their Schools  and  how effective it has been with the pupils.


Justine Jones arrived at the meeting at 4.00 pm.


Membership Update pdf icon PDF 42 KB


Vicky Thomas outlined the following vacancies of the SACRE membership:


·         UCAC

·         Secondary Heads Association

·         Association of College Managers 

·         Evangelical Church


Karen Vokes advised the Committee that the new RE teacher will be joining Merthyr College after half term and will hopefully take up the membership of the Association of College Managers.    Karen Vokes to liaise with Jonathan Martin to confirm this. 


Vicky Thomas advised that she has been in contact with Jim Stewart to confirm an Evangelical Church Member on this Committee, and will report back to the next meeting on progress. 


In relation to the vacancies on the UCAC and SHA, Vicky Thomas to e-mail details to Jane Allman so that this could be raised at the appropriate meetings.


SACRE Annual Report 2014-15 and progress report on the Development Plan 2012-15 pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Additional documents:


Vicky Thomas referred to the SACRE’s Annual Report for 2014/15 and led the Committee through the Executive Summary and responded to questions raised.


Vicky Thomas then led Members through the Merthyr Tydfil SACRE Development Plan for 2012-15 and advised of progress made on issues identified within the plan. 




Following amendments identified, the report be approved.   Vicky Thomas to make amendments and send back to Karen Vokes.


The Annual Report be circulated to the Department for Education and Skills (DFES) together with the organisations as outlined in Appendix 6 of the report by the 30th December 2015.


SACRE Development Plan 2015 - 2018 pdf icon PDF 57 KB


Vicky Thomas led the Committee through the Merthyr Tydfil SACRE Development Plan for 2015-18 and advised that progress made on issues identified within the plan will be included in the next Annual Report. 




The contents of this Development Plan for 2015-18 be noted.


Inspection Report Analysis Autumn 2014 - Summer 2015 pdf icon PDF 61 KB


Vicky Thomas referred to the School Inspection Reports in relation to the 3 primary schools, namely Troedyrhiw, Twynyrodyn and Ysgol Y Graig and led Committee through the outcomes.


Mark Carrington, Headteacher of Twynyrodyn Community School, then gave an update on progress on how the School is currently meeting the Estyn Recommendation for Collective Worship.



RE and the National Curriculum pdf icon PDF 45 KB

·         Please see attached letter from Huw Lewis, Education Minister.

Additional documents:


Vicky Thomas referred to comments made by Huw Lewis, Education Minister, with regard to the proposed changes to RE and also the Minister’s response to WASACRE (attached as an appendix to the agenda).  


She advised that WASACRE Executive members were invited to regular meetings with officers from Welsh Government, and it was clarified at these meetings that RE will remain a statutory subject and full consultation on the proposed name change, ie. Moral Education and Philosophy will be sought and stakeholders will have input.


Detailed discussion ensued in relation to the consultation, and Mark Prevett expressed concern that this Committee’s scheduled dates may not coincide with the consultation dates therefore not giving this Committee the opportunity to debate and respond.       


Although it was recognised that Vicky Thomas would normally send responses to Members for approval to meet consultation deadlines, it was agreed that a Special meeting would be arranged if required. 


WASACRE: pdf icon PDF 338 KB

·         Feedback from AGM at Mold, Flintshire on 25th June 2015.


·         Representation at next meeting in Blaenau Gwent on 25th November 2015.


Vicky Thomas led Committee in detail through the Minutes of the WASACRE meeting at Mold, Flintshire on the 25th June 2015.


Discussion ensued in relation to the next WASACRE meeting on the 25th November 2015 at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council in Ebbw Vale, and it was agreed that Karen Vokes will send out the agenda to all Members when they are available.


The following Members confirmed that they would attend this meeting:


·         Councillor Ernie Galsworthy

·         Councillor Kate Moran

·         Father Mark Prevett

·         Ms Justine Jones

·         Mr Mark Carrington


Due to the number interested in attending the meeting, Karen Vokes to confirm this with Libby Jones at WASACRE. 


Following a request by several teacher representatives to attend only part of the day due to their commitments within their Schools, it was agreed that Karen Vokes will also confirm this with Libby Jones. 


Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 pdf icon PDF 75 KB


Vicky Thomas referred the Committee to the report.   She advised that Holocaust Memorial Day is an annual event that takes place on 27th January which marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenhau concentration camp.


She advised that Schools are encouraged to participate in the Holocaust Memorial Day, and outlined the events that had taken place last January throughout the Borough.  




Vicky Thomas to draft a letter to all Schools and contact Ann Yates from the Central Library on forthcoming events for HMD. 


Schedule of Meetings 2015-16 (see Minutes)




The next meeting of SACRE will now be held on Thursday, 11th February 2016 at 3.30 pm at Twynyrodyn Community School.  The RE Co-ordinator will provide a short presentation on the delivery of RE at the School. 


The date of the June SACRE will be confirmed at the February meeting.




No correspondence was discussed.


Any other business as deemed urgent by the Chairperson


The Chair advised that there was no business deemed urgent.


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