Venue: Remote Meeting. View directions
Contact: Democratic Services
To discuss a consultation response to the proposed legislative changes to the Curriculum for Wales: Religion, Values and Ethics
The relevant document and response forms can be found here: https://gov.wales/legislative-proposals-religion-values-and-ethics
Members were grateful for the notes provided by Paula Webber in preparation for completion of the consultation response in respect of Curriculum for Wales: Religion, values and ethics. It was agreed that Paula would draft a response based on the notes she had circulated prior to the meeting and to add the points raised in discussion today. The draft response would be considered at the ordinary meeting on 26th June 2020.
It was considered important to complete one box for each question (Agree, Disagree or Neither Agree nor Disagree) to ensure that views are counted especially in summarised analysis in case narrative is disregarded.
The following views and comments were voiced plus comments (relating to Q1, Q2 and Q9) from a teacher representative, unable to attend the meeting, were read out:
Question 1 – Do you agree that religion, values and ethics (RVE) should encompass both religious and non-religious beliefs that are philosophical convictions (in line with the European Convention on Human Rights) as described in the consultation document?
· Consultation document unclear in terms of philosophical convictions - not a straightforward question.
· Professional learning and guidance would be essential
· Concern expressed about the change of name to RVE contrary to opinions expressed by consultees.
· The requirement for religious and non-religious teaching to be on an equal basis would appear to be contrary to the Education Act 1996, Section 375 (3). Concern about diluting the time spent on religious education. A differing point was that other world views must be included, as some children may have no faith. Agreement that religious education should be pluralistic but without clear definition could go in all directions and focus may be lost. It was questioned what “encompassed” means in this context.
· The 23 views listed should not necessarily have an equal footing with major religions.
· Concern that this point confuses the make –up of SACREs with the content of RE.
Following a vote, there was a majority decision to “Disagree” until the terms of the consultation are better defined.
Question 2 – Do you agree that agreed syllabus conferences must have regard to statutory guidance when they are developing their locally agreed syllabus?
· Parameters of the question are unclear e.g. whether referring to statutory curriculum guidance or non-statutory RE framework. More definition is required.
· If SACREs only have regard for curriculum guidance without the detail in the RE framework, skills and content could be lost.
· It was not agreed that the agreed syllabus conferences must have regard to statutory guidance. This should be a locally agreed syllabus referring to non-statutory guidance to take into account the views of parents, teachers, governors and schools in the local context and hence less prescriptive.
· To agree, consultees should have sight of the draft Bill, statutory guidance and RE framework. The question would have to be better defined. Members felt unprepared to answer the question accordingly.
· Generally, would not expect the detail of the subject to be included in statutory guidance.
It was agreed, by consensus, ... view the full minutes text for item 1.
To confirm the date of the next meeting as Friday 26th June 2020 at 10.00am (Remote attendance by Microsoft Teams)