Following the 1988 Education Act, when Religious Education (RE) was confirmed as a compulsory part of the curriculum, it became a statutory requirement for every Local Authority (LA) to appoint a SACRE.
Surrey SACRE is made up of four groups which meet at least three times a year. The groups represent:
- Group A: Christian denominations other than the Church of England and other faith or belief groups that represent the main traditions of the area;
- Group B: the Church of England;
- Group C: Teachers’ associations and representatives from Surrey RE networks;
- Group D: The Local Authority (Surrey County Council).
In addition, the SACRE can co-opt members who may have expertise in the area of religious education or who may represent other interested groups, such as academy groups, if all parties are in agreement.
The Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) exists to:
- determine religious education content in Surrey maintained schools by producing a locally agreed syllabus and reviewing it every five years;
- advise on matters of collective worship in county schools and religious education (RE) in line with the agreed syllabus. This includes methods of teaching, choice of materials and training for teachers;
- assist with any complaint about religious education or collective worship in schools;
- publish an annual report detailing any action that SACRE has taken and any advice it has given, as well as any monitoring of RE provision that has taken place in the County’s schools or in relation to standards in RE.
In addition, SACRE can consider applications made by a headteacher, after consultation with the governing body and parents, to release some or all of the pupils in a particular school from the requirement that collective worship should be of a wholly or broadly Christian nature. This is known as a determination. For academies wishing to apply for a determination, the Academy Trust would apply, through the EFA, to the Secretary of State.
Surrey Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education
View and download the Surrey Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education and non-statutory support materials.
Surrey SACRE is also responsible for advising schools on matters related to their collective worship and has produced the following guidance:
Time to Reflect - A guide to Collective Worship in Surrey's maintained schools
Encounters with Faith - Guidance about visits and visitors to Religious Education and Collective Worship.
RE in Academies and Free Schools
The Funding Agreement for an Academy without a religious designation states that it must arrange for RE to be given to all pupils in accordance with the requirements for agreed syllabuses (as set out in section 375(3) of the Education Act 1996 and paragraph (5) of Schedule 19 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.) This means a syllabus that reflects 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. It also means that an Academy without a religious designation must not provide an RE syllabus to pupils by means of any catechism or formulary which is distinctive of any particular religious denomination. Academies are free to follow the locally agreed syllabus if they choose or they can choose another from a different Local Authority area.
View some Advice for Academies and Free Schools (PDF)
Download the recent SACRE Meeting Minutes.
View SACRE Annual Reports
Get in touch
Queries or further information about SACRE can be addressed to: