Religious Education

The Reading SACRE

Reading Religious Education Syllabus 18-23

SACRE means ‘Standing Advisory Council [on] Religious Education’. In the 1944 Education Act, each local education authority was empowered to set up a SACRE, but not compelled to do so. However, in the 1988 Education Act the setting up of a SACRE was made compulsory.

A SACRE is a part of local government and its principal function is to advise the local authority on matters related to Religious Education and Collective Worship in schools. All students in schools must receive religious education and all schools must provide a daily act of worship within a broadly Christian context.

Each SACRE usually meets once each term to fulfil its statutory duties, which are:

  • advise the local authority on matters related to the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education
  • advise on Collective Worship and how it can be performed
  • publish an Annual Report to the local authority and the secretary of State for education on the activities of the SACRE
  • the SACRE must hold meetings open to the public, so the dates, times and places should be published by the local authority
  • minutes of each meeting must be recorded and published for public record
  • consider appeals from schools wishing to modify the legal requirement for acts of Collective Worship being of a broadly Christian character, and to hear these appeals by means of a procedure called ‘Determination’. The SACRE decides the outcome of such appeals, whether to allow changes or decline the changes.

Also –

  • The SACRE is responsible for providing the Agreed Local Syllabus for Religious Education, which is reviewed about once every five years. The Reading Agreed syllabus is produced in collaboration with the Pan-Berkshire SACRE Hub, originally instituted to provide the 2012-2017 R.E. Syllabus. This means that the Syllabus is agreed and shared by the six Berkshire local authorities through the work of the Hub, on which committee the six authorities are represented. The New Revised Statutory Berkshire R.E. Syllabus published in June/July 2018 for 2018-2023, is the most recent version of the Agreed syllabus. The SACRE must advise the local authority on the implementation and teaching of the syllabus.
  • The SACRE provides CPD free of charge for the teachers of R.E. in the local authority. This is available to ALL teachers of Religious Education, in the Reading Borough through the termly Teachers’ R.E. Network Meetings. Schools not under the domain of the local authority may be charged a reasonable fee for events of a special nature, e.g. an R.E. conference. The Network Meetings are free to ALL schools.
  • The SACRE must consider complaints made about the teaching of R.E. referred to the SACRE by the local authority

How is the SACRE composed? It consists of four groups: A, B, C, and D, these are:

  • Group A:  Representatives of Christian Denominations other than the Church of England, together with representatives of other faiths reflecting the principal religions in the area
  • Group B: Representatives of the Church of England
  • Group C: Representatives of Teacher and Head Teacher Associations, Teachers of R.E. and others representing bodies concerned with religious education
  • Group D: Members representing the local authority, usually elected councillors

Numbers in each group are determined by the Constitution of the SACRE. (Information is available from the local authority.) Meetings must have at least one member from each group present to be quorate.

Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE)

Last updated on 01/04/2024