The 1988 Education Act confirmed that Religious Education (RE) is a compulsory part of the curriculum. The local authority (LA) has a statutory duty to create a standing advisory council on religious education (SACRE). SACRE’s role is to advise the local authority on matters related to the RE in its schools, which must follow a locally agreed syllabus, and on collective worship in schools.
Suffolk SACRE is a partnership between the LA and its communities. It is led by Mrs Helen Matter (Chair). SACRE meets at least once a term and minutes/agendas are made available on the Suffolk SACRE website. They are open meetings and members of the public are welcome to attend. Due to the current pandemic, meetings are being held virtually. Please contact the Suffolk SACRE clerk for further information.
Meeting dates for 2020-2021 are:
1 December 2020 4.00-5.15pm
26 January 2021 4.30-6.00pm
20 April 2021 4.30-6.00pm
6 July 2021 4.30-6.00pm
SACREs are legally responsible for advising LAs on matters concerned with the provision of RE and collective worship, and with ensuring compliance. They:
- provide advice to the LA on all aspects of its provision for RE in its schools, supporting its effectiveness and considering any changes needed in support offered to schools
- decide whether the LA's Agreed Syllabus for RE needs to be reviewed and require the LA does so by setting up an Agreed Syllabus conference
- monitor and provide advice to the LA on the provision of daily collective worship in its schools and consider any actions which might be taken to improve it
- consider any requests from headteachers to hold collective worship that is not wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character (known as a determination)
- offer advice particularly on methods of RE teaching, the choice of resources and the provision of training for teachers
A SACRE consists of four committees each representing a different group or 'constituency':
The Christian denominations (other than the Church of England) and other religions
In addition SACRE can co-opt members who have a particular interest and/or specific expertise in RE. Co-opted members do not have voting rights.
On any question to be decided by SACRE, only the four committees are entitled to vote, each group having a single vote.
Clerk to the Suffolk SACRE