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The Role and Composition of SACRE

The purpose of a SACRE is to advise the local authority (LA) on matters related to religious education and collective worship in state maintained schools.

Their broad role is to support the effective provision of RE and collective worship in schools. It should work with the local authority to monitor the provision for RE and collective worship and consider any action it might take to improve such provision.

SACRE can advise the LA about the following matters:

  • Meeting statutory requirements
  • How the agreed syllabus for RE is best delivered
  • Methods of teaching
  • Resources and teaching materials to be used
  • Training of teachers

SACRE can require the LA to review its agreed syllabus for RE by convening an 'Agreed Syllabus Conference'. It is a legal requirement for every LA to review its agreed syllabus within five years of the last review. The Education Reform Act 1988 says:

Any agreed syllabus shall reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.

SACRE can consider applications from school for determinations. Determinations are requests to be exempt from 'broadly Christian worship'.

SACRE can consider complaints about the provision and delivery of religious education and collective worship and is to play a part in the local statutory complaints procedure where cases are referred to SACRE by the LA.

SACRE is to publish an Annual Report on its work and this is to be submitted to the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) by 31 December of each year.

Composition of SACRE

The local authority is responsible for the composition of SACRE and a SACRE is made up of three groups:

  1. Representatives of Christian denominations and other religions to reflect broadly the proportionate strength of that denomination or religion in the area.
  2. Associations representing teachers.
  3. Local authority representatives.

SACRE may co-opt additional non-voting members in accordance with the constitution.

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