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SACRE

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.

Should atheists/humanists be on SACREs

Yes
18
78%
No
2
9%
Don't know
2
9%
Not even interested
1
4%
 
Total votes: 23

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Author
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jaywhat
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SACRE

#1 Post by jaywhat » September 14th, 2007, 5:58 am

OKA Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education is, as many probably know, the body that decides on RE curricula across England if not elsewhere.
I am about to take a role in one of these and do not feel too enthusiastic or even sure if I am doing the right thing.
A bit of feedback here would be useful so please fire away.

lewist
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#2 Post by lewist » September 14th, 2007, 8:45 am

Where there is a possibility of influence, the Humanist voice must be heard. otherwise the Goddists will imagine they are doing the right thing and that everyone agrees with them. Don't let them get away with it!
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

Nick
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

#3 Post by Nick » September 14th, 2007, 9:27 am

I very much agree with Lewist, though I think you will be frustrated at times.

Fred
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Joined: July 13th, 2007, 3:33 pm

#4 Post by Fred » September 14th, 2007, 10:26 am

As I understand it only the faith heads have a vote on SACREs. Humanists et al are "observers". It is still a good opportunity to provide a balance to their silliness, but I expect it will be frustrating when you win the argument and lose the vote.

Do non-goddist religions (Buddhism, Paganism etc) get a seat on SACREs and if they do, do they get a vote?
Fred

Beki
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Joined: July 5th, 2007, 8:43 am

#5 Post by Beki » September 14th, 2007, 1:30 pm

Good luck Jay - go get 'em. I am sure you will have everyone's support here when (if) you need it!! :thumbsup:

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jaywhat
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#6 Post by jaywhat » September 14th, 2007, 3:11 pm

The bit about 'observers' is not the case everythere. There are humanists who are full members with the same 'power' as anyone else and there are humanists who are actually the chair person of their local SACRE.

Fred
Posts: 111
Joined: July 13th, 2007, 3:33 pm

#7 Post by Fred » September 14th, 2007, 3:53 pm

jaywhat wrote:The bit about 'observers' is not the case everythere. There are humanists who are full members with the same 'power' as anyone else and there are humanists who are actually the chair person of their local SACRE.
That's interesting! Who decides what role Humanists will have on each SACRE? Is it the LEA?
Fred

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whitecraw
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#8 Post by whitecraw » September 16th, 2007, 9:45 pm

My understanding of SACREs is that membership is nominated from the religious denominations that reflect the principal traditions of the LEA, the local diocese of the Church of England, the LEA Teachers’ Council, and the local government authority. Humanists (assuming they don’t constitute a significantly large denomination in religious affairs in the LEA area – and, let’s face it, you guys are a bit thin on the ground) can be co-opted for consultation, but don’t as co-optees have any voting rights.

Bloody English, eh?

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Alan H
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#9 Post by Alan H » September 21st, 2007, 11:05 pm

IIRC, the situation in Scotland is that there is a statutory place on all education committees for a religious person - usually this would be CofS.

As fas as the curriculum is concerned, it is controlled by the 5-14 Guidelines, although schools are not legally required to follow them. The guidelines for Religious and Moral Education (RME) are here.

Of course, Catholic schools have their own RME.

For Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2 and Higher Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS) see here, and here on the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) website.

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jaywhat
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#10 Post by jaywhat » September 25th, 2007, 3:48 pm

whitecraw,
As I said before -
>The bit about 'observers' is not the case everywhere. There are humanists who are full members with the same 'power' as anyone else and there are humanists who are actually the chair person of their local SACRE<

- - and what is particularly wrong about being English?

jaywhat

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whitecraw
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#11 Post by whitecraw » September 27th, 2007, 10:17 pm

The bit about 'observers' is not the case everywhere. There are humanists who are full members with the same 'power' as anyone else and there are humanists who are actually the chair person of their local SACRE
I stand corrected! Still can't get my head round the idea of humanists, who (despite appearances) aren't much into religion, taking an interest in RE. Shouldn't you guys rather be on the policing authority for sciences in schools, making sure they're being taught properly?
- and what is particularly wrong about being English?


I've never quite been able to put my finger on that. I know quite a few Englanders who are basically okay. But there's a certain... je ne sais quoi about being English that still makes me shake my head in amusement. Like this whole SACRE arrangement... It's all very... well... Anglican! All gas and gaiters, in a David Nimmoish sort of way.

Fred
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Joined: July 13th, 2007, 3:33 pm

#12 Post by Fred » October 1st, 2007, 3:28 pm

whitecraw wrote:Still can't get my head round the idea of humanists, who (despite appearances) aren't much into religion, taking an interest in RE. Shouldn't you guys rather be on the policing authority for sciences in schools, making sure they're being taught properly?
By and large we trust the people setting the science curricula. The same cannot be said for the RE curriculum. The organised religions use it as an attempt to indoctrinate our kids - we have to use every tool, no matter how meagre, that we can get our mitts on to counter that threat.
Fred

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jaywhat
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#13 Post by jaywhat » October 2nd, 2007, 6:26 am

Yesterday went to my first SACRE meeting. I may be able to talk about it another time.
It was in a mosque (no shoes and no chairs except what one guy had brought in his car). Still in Ramadan, but the nice thing was the guys brought in a tray of food even though sunset was a good half an hour away. Of course, we all waited.

tubataxidriver
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Joined: August 3rd, 2007, 10:39 pm

#14 Post by tubataxidriver » October 2nd, 2007, 11:18 pm

In Buckinghamshire the local BHA made contact with the Bucks SACRE and gave them a presentation, but even observer membership was refused. It is sensible to have local SACREs because the prevalence of various religions / denominations around the country varies considerably. However, in most areas the non-actively-religious dominate the population but their views are excluded.

However, it is only really useful being involved with a SACRE when they are revising their "agreed syllabus" for RE, which takes place every few years. Between then it is a bit of a talking shop.

I think it is completely justified for humanists and other non-religious people to participate fully in the work of SACREs because the RE national curriculum / syllabus is now intended to cover broader philosophical ideas and link to other religion-neutral curriculum areas like citizenship.

SACREs like Buckinghamshire who exclude non-religious participation are coming up with a quite restrictive "agreed syllabus", and they should be regularly reminded so. I keep a close eye on this as a secondary school governor in Bucks.

One solution for the non-religious community would be to come up with model sections or even a whole model "agreed syllabus", with lesson plans etc. which LEAs or SACREs could pick from or use complete. Does anyone know if such material exists?

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jaywhat
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#15 Post by jaywhat » October 6th, 2007, 1:40 pm

At my first meeting last Monday of local Sacre we were all given the new
Kirklees Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education 2007-2012 which had
pictures draw by kids.
Studying the cover at home, I found the happy human. Here it is -


Image

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whitecraw
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#16 Post by whitecraw » October 6th, 2007, 3:15 pm

Nice to see Humanism included as one of the many faiths of the world. But should Humanists be satisfied with being only on God's imaginery pinkie?

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Alan H
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#17 Post by Alan H » October 6th, 2007, 5:07 pm

I suppose 'One world, many faiths or none' isn't quite as snappy, but I'm sure a few minutes' thought would come up with something better that was all-inclusive.

Noggin
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#18 Post by Noggin » October 6th, 2007, 7:14 pm

One world, many beliefs would perhaps be better?
It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man. -- Old Norse Proverb

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whitecraw
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#19 Post by whitecraw » October 7th, 2007, 12:34 am

Sorry! I just find the appearance of the wee happy chappie - jumping up and down with joy and obviously fair pleased with himself at being at long last one of the 'in' crowd - as part of an overtly religious symbolism... well... laughable.

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jaywhat
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#20 Post by jaywhat » October 7th, 2007, 6:08 am

Clearly I am wrong to be so pleased with this, but as I said earlier, I am new to the SACRE scene and in two minds about doing it at all.
To find that the Kirklees SACRE has not only asked for a humanist to attend, but already has humanism in its RE syllabus and already has children drawing pictures that include the humanist symbol makes me feel that at least here in Huddersfield things are moving slightly faster than in those authorities where a humanist is not even allowed at their meetings.

I know I am clutching at straws. I feel that RE should be a study of comparative life stances and I would like SACREs replaced by a nationial curriculum - but there you go.

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