Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education

Cumbria Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) aims to support high quality teaching and learning in religious education and thoughtful, reflective experiences in collective worship.

Within its statutory responsibilities Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) is concerned to support and enhance the provision of religious education (RE) within Cumbrian schools where the agreed syllabus is in use.  It encourages the provision of high quality in-service training for those whose responsibility it is to deliver RE.

The SACRE function and duties are to:

  • provide advice to the local authority and schools on collective worship and RE in accordance with the agreed syllabus
  • advise the local authority on how to monitor the provision and quality of collective worship and RE in Cumbrian community schools and foundation schools without a religious character
  • advise the local authority on any complaints concerning RE or collective worship
  • consider any requests from community schools or foundation schools without a religious character to lift the legal requirement to hold a daily act of collective worship of a broadly Christian character for some or all of the pupils at that school. Such applications are to be made by the headteacher after consultation with the governing body. If SACRE agrees, the school is granted a 'determination' for five years, after which the school can reapply and the determination must be reviewed
  • require the local authority to review the agreed syllabus by convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 3, Schedule 31 to the Education Act 1996
  • publish an annual report about its work

We are also required to publish an annual report on its work which should:

  • specify any matters on which it has advised the local authority
  • broadly describe the nature of that advice on any matters which were not referred to it in the first place by the local authority

Section 391 of the 1996 Education Act requires every local authority in England and Wales to constitute a Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE).

Duties of the local authority

Establishing a SACRE has been a legal requirement for every Local Authority (LA) since 1988. The LA is legally obliged to ensure that:

  • there is a functioning SACRE with all four committees represented
  • there is professional and financial support in place for SACRE to carry out its duties
  • there is an Agreed Syllabus for RE which is reviewed at least once every five years
  • it consults with SACRE on any issues to do with RE and collective worship
  • it takes note of, and responds to, any advice it receives from SACRE

How SACRE is set up

A Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) consists of four committees each representing a different group or 'constituency':

  • Committee A: Christian denominations (other than the Church of England) and other faiths
  • Committee B: Church of England
  • Committee C: Teacher Associations
  • Committee D: Local Authority (LA)

Cumbria SACRE aims to have:

  • Committee A: Representation from Catholicism, Methodism, Quakerism, United Reformed, nonconformists, Free Churches, Churches together and other faiths including but not limited to Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Sikhism
  • Committee B: Representatives nominated by the Diocesan Board of Education
  • Committee C: Representatives nominated by teacher unions and other professional bodies
  • Committee D: Elected Members appointed by each of the main political parties

In addition SACRE can co-opt members who have a particular interest and/or specific expertise in religious education (RE).  Co-opted members do not have voting rights.

Each of the four committees has equal voting rights: one vote per group.  Decisions within a group about how that vote is to be cast do not require unanimity.

Each committee has to regulate its own proceedings. Therefore, on those occasions where a formal vote is necessary each committee has one vote. 

Cumbrian SACRE RE conference 2024

Tuesday 4 June 2024, 9am to 4pm
Venue: North Lakes Hotel, Ullswater Road, Penrith, CA11 8QT

This is the annual SACRE conference for Cumbria. The event will be offering teachers some inspiring training to support the new Cumbria Agreed Syllabus which is statutory from September 2024 following a year of implementation. At the heart of this syllabus is religious literacy through a disciplinary approach. Teachers will go away with some high-quality materials to use in their classroom and with improved subject knowledge.

Training providers:

  • Julia Diamond-Conway – National RE Adviser, RE Today
  • Jane Yates – RE Adviser to Cumbrian SACRE
  • Cumbrian SACRE Members
  • Local Cumbrian pupils and their teachers

Download the SACRE conference 2024 programme

Who it is aimed at:

  • Primary Headteachers
  • Primary and Secondary
  • RE Leads
  • Primary and Secondary Class Teachers and HLTA

Intended impact and outcomes

It will allow participants to:

  • prepare teachers for implementing the new Cumbrian Agreed Syllabus as a planning tool, exploring supportive resources and assessment practice
  • gain fresh insights, strategies, and subject knowledge to take away and implement in your own school setting
  • understand how RE subject leaders can best monitor standards in RE
  • understand how FoRB (Freedom of Religion or Belief) principles can contribute to excellent RE

How much it costs

All schools: £150

Course Code: WFC #SACREConf24

How to book

Places for this event can be booked via our WFC Professional Development SLA

If you have any issues accessing the SLA, please email the School Development Team to book your place.


Cancellation terms

A cancellation charge will apply for cancellations less than five working days before the event. This charge will also apply to non-attendees.

If you are unable to attend or require any further information, please contact the School Development Team.

Resources and documents

Agreed Syllabus for religious education 2023

This syllabus is the basis on which the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) will determine the effectiveness of the delivery of RE. It is the statutory framework which guides schools developing their curriculum for RE. It is the responsibility of each school to develop schemes of work at each statutory stage of education based on this syllabus.

SARCE annual report 2022 to 2023

Cumbria SACRE constitution

Cumbrian SACRE Secondary Survey 2024