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Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE)

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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Altfish
Posts: 1821
Joined: March 26th, 2012, 8:46 am

Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#21 Postby Altfish » November 20th, 2013, 12:22 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Alan H wrote:Hmmm...perhaps you should take a copy along any bring it up under AOB?


As it's my first meeting (and I want to get the hang of how things progress before going in with both feet!!) I have pointed this out to my co-BHA representative and I'll leave it for her to raise it or not.

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Altfish
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Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#22 Postby Altfish » June 7th, 2014, 5:39 pm

I'm at a BHA SACRE representative's conference in Leeds tomorrow.

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Dave B
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Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#23 Postby Dave B » June 7th, 2014, 6:04 pm

Altfish wrote:I'm at a BHA SACRE representative's conference in Leeds tomorrow.
On a Sunday? Have they no respect for the Sabbath?

:wink:
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Altfish
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Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#24 Postby Altfish » June 7th, 2014, 6:05 pm

Dave B wrote:
Altfish wrote:I'm at a BHA SACRE representative's conference in Leeds tomorrow.
On a Sunday? Have they no respect for the Sabbath?

:wink:

:pointlaugh:

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Altfish
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Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#25 Postby Altfish » June 8th, 2014, 9:53 pm

Altfish wrote:I'm at a BHA SACRE representative's conference in Leeds tomorrow.


A good event, one interesting thing we were told.....

We now have a humanist representative on almost all SACRE's throughout the country, BUT the Birmingham SACRE has refused to allow a BHA member/representative to join it.:sad2:

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Alan H
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Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#26 Postby Alan H » June 9th, 2014, 10:29 am

Altfish wrote:
Altfish wrote:I'm at a BHA SACRE representative's conference in Leeds tomorrow.


A good event, one interesting thing we were told.....

We now have a humanist representative on almost all SACRE's throughout the country, BUT the Birmingham SACRE has refused to allow a BHA member/representative to join it.:sad2:
Yes, Birmingham is a particular problem...somewhat hard-line xtians...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#27 Postby Alan H » June 12th, 2014, 11:19 am

This just from the BHA: Birmingham taxpayers’ money used to urge systematic discrimination against non-religious in RE

See the original for embedded links:
The British Humanist Association (BHA) has uncovered a pattern of systematic discrimination against the non-religious by members of Birmingham’s Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) – in order to prevent non-religious worldviews being taught about in lessons, but also extending to seemingly having made legal threats against the previous Government which apparently stopped it from endorsing the place of humanists as full members of SACREs. The efforts came to light through Freedom of Information requests to Birmingham Council and the Department for Education (DfE), which uncovered hundreds of pages of documentation. These include legal advice from a barrister who often represented the Christian Institute, which cost thousands of pounds for the Council to obtain, a ‘tracked changes’ version of the consultation draft of the Government’s 2010 non-statutory guidance for RE, deleting all references to Humanism (as well as positive endorsements of the Religious Education Council).

There are 173 SACREs in England and Wales, each of which has responsibility for the local RE syllabus in community, voluntary controlled and foundation schools. As things stand, most humanists who are members of SACREs are co-opted members. The BHA believes that humanists can legally be full members, just as representatives of religious organisations can be, and in recent years a large number of SACREs have accepted that. In 2010 the Government was going to endorse this in its own guidance (page 27), but following a threat of judicial review by individuals from Birmingham, this endorsement was removed (page 21). Birmingham SACRE itself takes the extremely rare position of refusing to even co-opt a humanist.

The papers reveal that the campaign against the inclusion of Humanism in RE and humanists on SACREs was conducted by the former Chair and Deputy Chair of the SACRE, Guy Hordern and Marius Felderhof, with support from Les Lawrence, who until 2012 was the Birmingham Cabinet member responsible for education, and the Church of England Bishop of Birmingham, David Urquhart. But more recently the SACRE has been renewing its efforts, and its current chair, councillor Barry Henley, has sent a letter to all SACREs in the country seeking to involve them in supporting the Birmingham position of excluding of non-religious beliefs and values.

The controversial Birmingham syllabus for RE is unusual in explicitly ruling out learning about non-religious beliefs like Humanism and is marketed under the name ‘Faith Makes a Difference’, a title that implicitly denigrates those who are not religious. Birmingham Council has been seeking to sell it to other local authorities and have it followed in schools in other areas.

All this contrasts with official government views on the subject. The Department for Education endorsed a new RE curriculum framework last year which includes non-religious beliefs and only on Monday, in response to the recent findings in Birmingham community schools, Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove told the House of Commons that he would require all schools to promote ‘British values’. Independent schools are already required to respect them, and the Government briefed journalists that what this means is that schools should ‘Use teaching resources from a wide variety of sources to help pupils understand a range of faiths, and beliefs such as atheism and humanism.’ Such advice is the uncontroversial outcome of many decades of evolution in RE in England.

BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal commented, ‘We were astonished and appalled to discover the extent of these efforts, at both a local and a national level, to ensure that non-religious beliefs are not taught about in RE. The single-mindedness with which this issue has been pursued has passed into an active campaign of discrimination against humanists and to learn that the SACRE is now seeking to influence others in England to turn the RE clock back is appalling.

‘It is widely accepted – both within the RE profession and amongst the public at large – that if the subject is to be relevant and have integrity, non-religious beliefs must be taught about in schools alongside religious ones. Virtually all RE syllabuses now do so to some extent, as does the RE Council’s non-statutory national curriculum framework, which has government endorsement. For representatives of a local authority to resort to legal threats against the Government to try to prevent this from being the case massively undermines the role that good RE should play in improving community cohesion, including between the religious and the non-religious.’

John Edwards of Birmingham Humanists, who has repeatedly been refused membership of Birmingham SACRE, commented, ‘I have been trying to get Humanism represented on Birmingham SACRE for the last 5 years or so and am dismayed that, although they profess inclusiveness, they are only too ready to deny this when it suits them. I am happy for a member of any religion to tell children in RE lessons about their core beliefs, the reasons they believe these to be true and why they feel the need for these beliefs in their life, but I am affronted when I find there are people involved in education in Birmingham who are determined to deny the right of children to even hear about the existence of non-religious worldviews in RE lessons.

‘Our children need to know that it is OK to be an atheist, humanist or whatever, without the pejorative adjectives “militant” or “aggressive” being applied; that it’s possible to live a happy, moral life without being religious and that there are lots of people out there in the world like that. I don’t see why the hard-working people of Birmingham should have their taxes spent trying to prevent that.’
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Altfish
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Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#28 Postby Altfish » June 17th, 2014, 8:56 am

The BHA has put together a substantial submission about the goings on in Birmingham...

https://humanism.org.uk/wp-content/uplo ... anists.pdf

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Altfish
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Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#29 Postby Altfish » September 13th, 2014, 3:56 pm

My fellow Trafford SACRE representative and I are gate crashing an Inter-Faith event on Monday, may be interesting. :wink:

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animist
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Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#30 Postby animist » September 13th, 2014, 7:31 pm

Altfish wrote:My fellow Trafford SACRE representative and I are gate crashing an Inter-Faith event on Monday, may be interesting. :wink:
best of luck, and I glad you have your hard hat on!

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Altfish
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Re: Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE

#31 Postby Altfish » September 16th, 2014, 11:58 am

Strange meeting, chaired by the reverend Richard!

They had a survey that skipped over the 25% that the last census showed as non-believers; I politely took the opportunity to point out that based on those going to church/mosque/etc. the Faith community represented not much more than 15% of the country.
They quickly moved on.

The problem we humanists have is lack of resources; be it money, rooms or volunteers available - humanist volunteers are there but they need rounding up.


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