Cheshire East Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE)

The SACRE act as the governing body for religious education within the authority. They meet regularly to monitor the provision and quality of religious education and collective worship within the authority. It is the responsibility of the SACRE to determine the religious education taught in authority schools and to publish an agreed syllabus. 

Cheshire East RE agreed syllabus 2016

An agreed syllabus specifies the religious education to be taught in schools within an authority. All schools are required to teach the agreed syllabus with the exception of Voluntary Aided schools and those with a trust deed that specifies otherwise. SACRE review the syllabus every five years at an Agreed Syllabus Conference.

SACRE Handbook

  • SACRE handbook 2016 (ZIP, 24MB)
    This is a zip file of the guidance and teacher resources for teaching the Agreed Syllabus. You will need to download  and unzip the file to access the individual PDF files.

What are the duties of the SACRE?

SACRE's main duty is to advise the local authority on religious education and collective worship for the schools within its remit and:

  • requires the local authority to review its agreed syllabus every five years
  • considers requests from schools to be released from the requirement to provide collective worship that is wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character (a determination)
  • publishes an annual report of its work
  • monitors the provision and quality of the agreed syllabus, and of collective worship
  • meets in public, unless confidential information is to be disclosed
  • records minutes of all meetings
  • provides advice and support on teaching the agreed syllabus

Who belongs to SACRE?

SACRE is made up of four groups or committees  known as ‘the Council’ that represent interests in the local community:

  • Group A: representatives of Christian denominations and other religions reflecting the principal religious traditions of the area
  • Group B: Church of England representatives
  • Group C: teacher representatives (often from the teacher associations)
  • Group D: local authority (LA) representatives (often Councillors) 

Each group or committee must be represented on ‘the Council’. Members may be nominated by appropriate organisations but are appointed by ‘the Council’. Other members may be co-opted. 

Why is there a SACRE?

Local authorities were given the power to set up SACREs to decide what was taught in RE (also called religious instruction, religious knowledge, scripture or divinity) when religious education became a compulsory subject on the curriculum in 1944. The 1988 Education Act confirmed religious education as part of the basic curriculum and it became a duty for every local authority (LA) to appoint a SACRE. The Children’s Services division of the LA is responsible for making sure there is a SACRE.

Religious education is the only compulsory subject in schools that is locally determined. The DfE (Department for Education) or QCDA (Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority) do not decide centrally what religious education is taught in schools.

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